On December 11, Governor David Paterson vetoed legislation which I co-sponsored that would have established a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in both vertical and horizontal wells throughout New York State until May of 2011. He also signed an Executive Order requiring the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to reissue a draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on fracking in horizontal wells and subject it to a public comment period in early June. The latter move effectively delays all fracking in horizontal wells until at least early summer, enabling the State Legislature to develop legislation to comprehensively address the threats fracking poses.
Next year, I will re-introduce my bill (S6654A/A1322B), which would extend the moratorium on fracking statewide to enable the State to review the findings and recommendations of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study on whether hydraulic fracturing is a danger to groundwater supplies before deciding how to proceed. The bill would also establish permanent protections for certain ecologically sensitive areas.
We have made much progress on this issue, but the fight continues. I pledge to continue working with advocates, local legislators and residents to ensure the protection of our precious natural resources.