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Lawmakers circulating hydrofracking moratorium bill
|A bill that would place an extended moratorium on hydraulic fracturing is circulating amongst lawmakers, with the Assembly’s environmental chairman expected to introduce it soon.|
The legislation, which would officially ban hydrofracking for natural gas in New York until June 1, 2013, is sure to garner support from Assembly Democrats, who have long spoken out against the much-debated technique.
Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, said last month that he would sponsor the bill in the Senate, giving it an all-important majority sponsor. But it’s much less likely to gain support from Senate Republican leadership, with both Sens. Tom Libous, R-Binghamton, and George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, very supportive of hydrofracking. (Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, has voiced his support as well, though he did vote for a 2010 moratorium that was ultimately vetoed.)
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-Ithaca, issued a statement today saying she has signed on to co-sponsor the bill. The lead sponsor will be Assembly Environmental Conservation Chairman Robert Sweeney, D-Suffolk County.
“Despite industry claims to the contrary, I still have grave concerns about the ability for drilling to be done safely in New York,” Lifton said.
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