Bill to Extend Fracking Moratorium until 2013 Hits NY Senate

As predicted yesterday (see this MDN story), NY State Sen. Greg Ball, a RINO from Putnam County, introduced legislation into the Senate yesterday that would extend the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York until June 1, 2013. Fortunately not many of his colleagues in the Republican-controlled Senate agree with him, making passage of the bill unlikely.

State Sen. Greg Ball, a Republican known for his maverick sensibility, enhanced that reputation further with his introduction Wednesday of a proposed moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, the controversial natural gas drilling technique better known as hydrofracking that’s under review by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Putnam County lawmaker was joined at a news conference by Sens. David Carlucci and David Valesky, members of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference. Also on hand were residents from Dimock, Pa., a community where drilling operations have been blamed for contaminating water wells and having other deleterious effects on the environment — claims that local drillers either deny or claim are overblown.

The moratorium, which would bar hydrofracking through June 1, 2013, is unlikely to pass the Senate due to opposition from Ball’s fellow Republicans, who so far seem content to follow Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lead and let DEC move ahead with its long-gestating impact statement and simultaneous crafting of regulations for its possible implementation. Many members of the conference would like to see the agency accelerate its pace, arguing hydrofracking could be a major economic booster for the Southern Tier, home to the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation.*

*Albany Times Union (Jan 18, 2012) – Ball on gas drilling: Billionaires, gazillionaires have all the access