Oneida County, NY Legislators Vote on Frack Ban Wednesday

It looks like the Oneida County, NY legislature is poised to ban non-existent fracking on county-owned land in a vote scheduled for 2 p.m. this afternoon. In one sense, this is an empty political gesture—Gov. Cuomo hasn’t approved fracking, so there’s nothing to ban. Plus, the proposed ban would only involve county-owned land, which is a tiny fraction of all land in Oneida County. You may say, “So what if they do ban it? No big deal, right?”

Here’s why this vote is important: Energy companies take notice of these things, and if drilling ever does come to New York (as most think will happen), drillers may be inclined to skip by Oneida County if they know the political leadership there, presumably acting with the consent of the majority of the population, doesn’t want fracking. If you live in Oneida County and favor drilling, you may want to attend the vote this afternoon and make your voice heard…

The hot button issue of hydrofracking takes one step forward on the county level.

The public work’s committee voted, Monday, to pass a measure that would support a county-wide moratorium on hydrofracking.

On Wednesday, the measure will go before the ways and means committee and if passed it will go before the full Oneida County Legislature by 2 p.m. on that same day.

Monday’s vote received 4 voting against the measure, and 7 voting for the measure.

The measure prohibits any shale gas extraction on county owned lands.

Oneida County Legislator Chad Davis says if the measure is passes on Wednesday that it may serve to help other land owners fight against "Compulsory Integration."

"If 60 percent of a leased area is in favor of fracking the other 40 percent would be forced to follow suit," he said. "We didn’t want county lands to tip the balance."*

    *Utica (NY) WKTV News (Apr 8, 2013) – Anti-Hydrofracking measure moves forward in county committee