Senate Advances Legislation Banning CO2 Fracking

Rainbow over a forest.
Prohibits Use of Carbon Dioxide to Drill and Extract Natural Gas and Oil

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would prohibit the extraction of natural gas using carbon dioxide. The measure would expand New York State’s current ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking), a process that forces a mix of water and harmful chemicals into the ground to extract gas and oil and is “widely known to cause a variety of adverse environmental and health consequences,” according to the Senate Majority. Read the Senate Majority’s release.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “The Senate Majority has long been a leader of environmental stewardship and public health protection. As a state, we began combatting hydrofracking over a decade ago, but the widespread development of a new form of fracking using carbon dioxide has the imminent potential to cause new health and safety risks to our constituents and their communities today. I am proud of Senator Webb and other members of my conference for sponsoring this vital piece of legislation that will prevent the oil and gas industry from circumventing our State environmental laws.”

Bill Sponsor, Senator Lea Webb said, “We know that fracking proposes significant health and environmental problems that threaten our communities. Over a decade ago, our State historically led the nation and protected public health and the environment by banning high volume hydraulic fracking. And now, an out-of-state company wants to lease land from my constituents in Broome County to inject carbon dioxide into the shale. We must take action to combat the use of CO2 to prevent any erosion of the progress our state has made in preventing fracking. That is why I have introduced this piece of legislation with my colleagues Assemblymember Kelles, Assemblywoman Lupardo and Senator Krueger to strengthen our fracking laws by banning the use of CO2 before it causes damage to our health and environment.”

Prime Co-Sponsor, Senator Liz Krueger said, “I am very proud of both houses of the Legislature for moving so quickly to make sure this insane idea of CO2 fracking never sees the light of day in New York. Fracking is a bad idea, full stop. Injecting incredibly dangerous concentrated CO2 into the ground and hoping to never have to think about it again is like a kid saying they've cleaned their room by shoving it all under the bed. Except what they're shoving under the bed is a toxic gas that can cause mass asphyxiation and literally melt your internal organs. We don't need this ridiculous concept damaging our land, our water, and our people's health and offering more false solutions to the greatest challenge of our time.”

Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee Senator Pete Harckham said, “New York’s distinction in recent years as a national climate protection leader is partly due to its ban on hydrofracking and a growing reliance on clean energy sources. Senator Webb’s common-sense legislation to ban carbon dioxide fracking as well — [which is] just as reckless and injurious as its water-based precursor—affirms our commitment to safeguarding our environment and protecting our fragile drinking water supplies while transitioning away from fossil fuel consumption to fight climate change.”

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