New Fracking Moratorium Bill Coming in NY Legislature

Gannett reporter Jon Campbell reports that a bill to extend New York’s moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until June 2013 is now circulating in Albany and is expected to be introduced soon by the the Assembly environmental chairman:

The legislation, which would officially ban hydrofracking for natural gas in New York until June 1, 2013, is sure to garner support from Assembly Democrats, who have long spoken out against the much-debated technique.

Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, said last month that he was planning on sponsoring the bill in the Senate, giving it an all-important majority sponsor. But it’s much less likely to gain support from Senate Republican leadership, with both Sens. Tom Libous, R-Binghamton, and George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, very supportive of hydrofracking. (Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, has voiced his support as well, though he did vote for a 2010 moratorium that was ultimately vetoed.)

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-Ithaca, issued a statement today saying she has signed on to co-sponsor the bill. The lead sponsor will be Assembly Environmental Conservation Chairman Robert Sweeney, D-Suffolk County.*

Meanwhile, the official comment period for new draft drilling regulations from the state DEC, known as the SGEIS (Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement) is due to close on Jan. 11. Landowners and those who support drilling are encouraged to submit comments to the DEC by that date. You may do so by visiting

MDN’s view: As a New York resident, I am distressed at the ongoing delays. Fracking is safe when done right, and there’s no reason to further delay its introduction to New York. It’s obvious that Joe Martens, Commissioner of the DEC, is intentionally delaying its introduction so that opposition, like this new legislation, has time to organize and eventually kill drilling outright. Since new drilling rules will not be released any time soon, it’s time for landowners and non-landowners who support drilling to unite and litigate. If it’s going to take years anyway, better to start the process now using the law, which is on our side, to force the state to stop violating our property rights.

*Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Jan 5, 2012) – Lawmakers circulating hydrofracking moratorium bill

  • Anonymous

    That last sentence about the state violating the rights of landowners baffles me. I’m here in Ohio where the state rescinded the rights of laocal juridiction over gas drilling and in Pennsylvania I hear complaints about the federal EPa getting involved.  Does anyone have the right or the power to regulate this industry? When Dick Cheney created the Halliburton Loophole he should have stipulated that he alone had the power to regulate the industry and in the event of his death they would be on their own to regulate themselves.  That is the Republican way.  Regulations get in the way of making money which is more important than human life and the ecology.  DRILL BABY DRILL!!

  • Anonymous

    Jim, I have been saying this for months!! After talking with my landowner Association president about the possibility of our association  filing a lawsuit, I was not happy with his responses and his basic non aggressive attitude. He seems to not want to ruffle feathers and is basically taking the wait and see attitude.It is with out a doubt time to file. I would like to speak with you in a private chat about helping us landowners rally together and  find an attorney with some experience and get it started. I would be willing to help in anyway possible, let me know!!

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  • Anonymous

    Their plan is coming to fruition. Who are they you ask – Obama, and the Green Energy fanatics ( I say fanatics because they are protecting the BILLIONS of dollars in subsidies they get from the US taxpayer-not because they want to “save the planet”). I saw this coming the day our “accidental” Governor Patterson signed the Executive Ordered Moritorium. If you think for one second that then (02/08) Attorney General (soon to be Governor) Andy Cuomo was not in the office with major players from the environmental green movement (Soros et. al.) with a perverbial gun to Pattersons head to sign that order, you have a lot to learn about politics. At the time, Patterson was still contemplating a run to be the elected Governor. The Democratic party was already building Andy’s war chest and backing him whole heartedly. Being the son of an incumbant beloved liberal Governor and having a pretty good track record he was a sure bet to beat Billionaire Carl Palladino (R). Had Patterson not stand down to Cuomo they would have split the ticket and Palladino would have won hands down. Pattersons’ ego almost thwarted the “plan” but Obama came to Andy’s rescue and asked him personally to step aside, which he complied. It was very convienient that there was a “scandal” on a member of Pattersons security team (with Patterson being directly involved) being investigated by Cuomo’s office and also the Yankee tickets, and other dirt Andy’s office was prepared to make into mud they could sling at Patterson. By the way what happened with all that after Patterson backed down?? He paid a fine for the tickets and his security staffer got arrested and charged. . . Patterson wlaked away with a slight bump on his ego.
    Knowing he was going to face this problem during his tenure as Governor, Andy and other big Green Energy power players MADE Patterson sign the moritorium. This way Andy could still take some money from NG industry into his war chest and not feel guilty. He didn’t put the moratorium on drilling it was his predecessor. Of course for his good deed, Patterson would be well taken care of by the money backers of the green energy movement and all of his scandals would be taken care of, but he had to go away QUIETLY- And he did. The NY liberal media has all but erased him from history. When was the last time you heard the name David Patterson? 
    In the Marcellus/Utica play, if you look at the states that have fracking guess what color they would be deemed in a presidential election or what the political party of their Governor is?. Yes RED. But there is one state, some would say the most influential state in United States politics, smack dab in the middle of the NG drilling boom- NEW YORK!. Here is the problem – Obama CANNOT have a BLUE state making BILLIONS of dollars in tax revenue, creating thousands of job, and righting it’s economy, off of an industry he and his financial backers DO NOT SUPPORT. He cannot take any credit for jobs created, or any other benefits because it would give any Republican opponent ammunition to show how truely ineffectual he has been as a leader, job creator & President with his policies. If it occurs in a red state it does not matter, he won’t win that state in an election anyway, BUT, if it should happen in a blue state he looks like a horses ass for not backing it. He cant’ have that now with his approval rate among Dems hovering in the low to mid 40’s. What I have shown is merely an inch of the tip of the iceberg where it relates to politics and industry and how one effects the other especially HVHF for NG.    
    I have come to the realization that hopes NG drilling in NYS are on life support, and that Andy Cuomo is walking around the ICU blindfolded in swim fins. It’s olny a matter of time till he kicks the plug out of the wall. The land owner groups do not seem organized enough to get the right people on board to put HEAVY political and public sentiment pressure on the Governor and his anti-drilling appointee to the DEC Joe Martens. This entire process has been set-up to fail and be delayed from the beginning. It appears that big oil does not have much of a foothold in NYS politics like it does in OH, WV, or PA. They seem to be very content right now with all the work they have in those states. Until the political climate in NY changes (NY gets a Republican Gov.) I don’t think it’s going to happen. It sickens me but this is reality-and politics.  

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