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Groups urge Assembly to pass temporary hydrofracking moratorium
|Environmental and public-health groups want the Assembly to pass a temporary moratorium on state permits for the practice of hydraulic fracturing—also known as hydrofracking—during Monday’s special session. The item is not on the agenda set by Gov. David Paterson, who called the session, but opponents of hydrofracking are optimistic the legislation could end up on the agenda, particularly in light of what Paterson said on WAMC radio in Albany Wednesday, said Erica Ringewald, spokeswoman for Environmental Advocates. Hydrofracking is a controlversial technique for extracting natural gas.|
The governor said opponents of hydrofracking “have raised enough of an argument to thwart us going forward at this time.” Even with the “tremendous revenue” hydrofracking could bring in, the state doesn’t want to risk public safety or water quality, he said.
The Senate passed the moratorium legislation earlier this year. It would prohibit the state Department of Environmental Conservation from issuing any permits for hydrofracking in New York’s portion of the Marcellus Shale until May 15, 2011.
The natural-gas industry opposes the ban. The Independent Oil & Gas Association is asking Assembly members to oppose the bill because it would stop most oil and gas drilling that is currently allowed, intrude on the current work the Department of Environmental Conservation is doing and harm the entire industry in New York.
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