As part of his budget address yesterday, Governor Cuomo proposed making New York’s ban on fracking permanent.
After years of heated debate, Cuomo’s administration announced in December of 2014 that it was prohibiting high-volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing due to health concerns.
The DEC followed up the following year with regulations banning the practice.
But, because the ban was enacted by a state agency and not the legislature, it could be easily undone by a future administration.
Vic Furman, President of Landowner Advocates of New York, opposes a permanent ban.
He says the Southern Tier would benefit economically from shale fracking.
T”There have been more than 300 drinking water incidents confirmed by Pennsylvania authorities associated with both conventional oil and gas drilling as well as shale fracking. So, this is what New York avoided,” said Toxics Targeting President Walter Hang.
Hang says he endorses Cuomo’s plan with one major caveat: he wants to make certain it also bans fracking with gelled propane or other substances and not just water.
Both Hang and Furman agree that the Governor’s decision is political and not based on science.
For his part, the Governor’s office put out a statement that the last 5 years have proven that fracking was not the only economic option for the Southern Tier.
It goes on to claim that our region has become a hotbed for clean energy and economic development investment creating new good-quality jobs.
“Governor Cuomo is shutting the door that we’re going to have to open in the future. And if we have to open it based on people who have no knowledge of the industry, then we’re going to be in for a long, hard battle in the future to get the energy we need,” said Furman.
Furman points to Pennsylvania’s gas industry and resulting economic boom as evidence of what could happen here.
Fracking opponent Walter Hang, President of Toxics Targeting, says Pennsylvania actually serves as an example of what can go wrong.