Industry Skips Hydrofracking Hearing

Liz Krueger

August 24, 2011

By Bill Lambdin

KATONAH - With the Cuomo administration moving quickly to allow hydrofracking in parts of New York, maybe the industry doesn't think they need to court state senators.

No industry representatives chose to show up at a public hearing Tuesday chaired by a Republican Conservative, flanked by two progressive Democrats.

"Before we allow a multi-billion dollar industry that's on the gateway of New York's border to come in here and profit off of our land and air resources these questions better get answered," said Senator Greg Ball (R - Patterson).

Hydrofracking drills water and chemicals under pressure deep into the ground, fracturing rock and releasing large amounts of natural gas. But in other states it has ruined drinking water, released harmful pollutants and caused other problems.

A sizeable crowd turned out Tuesday in Westchester County to oppose hydrofracking.

"How can one sell a house if a buyer can't get a mortgage or if the house has contaminated drinking water?," asked economist Jannette Barth.

Even with Cuomo administration support, the legislature could make hydrofracking easy, hard, or next to impossible in New York.

"if they've got nothing to hide why do they never show up to testify in their own defense?," asked Senator Liz Krueger (D - Manhattan).

"The fact that they're unwilling to come to tell us how everything has improved makes me, not only suspect, but extremely concerned," said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D - Westchester County).

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