Statement From Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson On The Veto Of Hydrofracking Legislation

December 11, 2010

Unrestricted hydrofracking activity will create a clear, present, and potentially permanent danger to the health and safety of millions of New Yorkers. Much of the Southern Tier, Central New York, the Hudson Valley, and New York City draw their water from areas that will not be fully protected by the Governor’s Executive Order. Allowing the special interest influence of the few to outweigh the public safety interests of so many is disappointing.

Once again, taxpayers are being asked by the energy industry to believe their drilling practices are safe and clean, but we need to look no further than the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico to recognize the importance of fully understanding the impact of drilling before breaking ground. Without a thoughtful and comprehensive moratorium on hydrofracking, access to clean, drinkable water will be in jeopardy, and the health of millions at risk. That is unacceptable.

We want jobs – but we want those jobs to be safe, and for their work to produce no harm to the environment.  Our legislation was a common-sense and bipartisan approach, carefully crafted to meet the real-world concerns of workers, farmers and families across New York.  

Environmental advocates, university experts, farmers, independent policy groups, and community members played an active role in the crafting of our legislation. We are deeply troubled the Governor failed to heed their advice and address their concerns, and instead caved to pressure from a small but vocal group of oil and gas industry executives who care more for their bottom line than the safety of New Yorkers.