Senate Dems push for fracking moratorium


Democrats in the New York State Senate are pushing for legislation to enact a moratorium on shale gas drilling in the state. The Assembly has already passed moratorium legislation, which would ban drilling through May 2015.

Yesterday, Senate Dems called on the chamber's ruling coalition to allow a vote on legislation. A press release sent out by the Dems doesn't mention a specific bill, but Senator David Carlucci, a Democrat who belongs to the separate Independent Democratic Conference, has introduced a moratorium bill. His legislation calls for the moratorium to remain in place until two outside health studies are completed — one is a Geisinger Health System study of fracking's impacts on health in Pennsylvania, the other is an Environmental Protection Agency study on fracking's effect on water quality.

Yesterday, Senator Ted O'Brien, a Democrat, sent out a statement supporting a fracking moratorium. O'Brien's spokesperson says the senator supports legislation introduced by Senator Tony Avella, which O'Brien cosponsors. The legislation would establish a moratorium through May 2015.

Here's O'Brien's statement:

“My district in the Finger Lakes region is home to some of our nation’s most pristine fresh water sources, acclaimed vineyards and beautiful landscapes. Preserving these natural resources is not only important to our environmental and public health, but to our economic future as well. Until we truly understand the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on our families, our environment, and our emerging industries, we must not allow any new fracking projects to take place in New York. A moratorium will give us more time to study this process and ensure the safety and future prosperity of the Finger Lakes region and our entire state.”