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In a roll call vote of 95-40, the New York State Assembly has passed a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the toxic horizontal drilling process through which oil and gas is procured that’s found within shale rock basins across the country and the world.

The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed off by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would close the state’s doors to the oil and gas industry’s desire to begin operating in New York’s portion of the Marcellus Shale basin until May 2015. New York has had a moratorium on the books since 2008.

This is the third time the Assembly has passed such a bill, with similar moratorium bills passing in 2010 and 2011, but then dying a slow death in the Senate and never reaching the Governor’s desk, meaning the de facto moratorium has remained in place.

Could the third time be a charm in 2013 in the Empire State?

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In a roll call vote of 95-40, the New York State Assembly has passed a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the toxic horizontal drilling process through which oil and gas is procured that’s found within shale rock basins across the country and the world.

The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed off by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would close the state’s doors to the oil and gas industry’s desire to begin operating in New York’s portion of the Marcellus Shale basin until May 2015. New York has had a moratorium on the books since 2008.

This is the third time the Assembly has passed such a bill, with similar moratorium bills passing in 2010 and 2011, but then dying a slow death in the Senate and never reaching the Governor’s desk, meaning the de facto moratorium has remained in place.

Could the third time be a charm in 2013 in the Empire State?

Signs point to “quite possibly,” because the bipartisan Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) bloc of the Senate - which shares control of the Senate with the Republicans – has come out in support of the bill’s passage, according to the Associates Press (AP).

“We have to put science first. We have to put the health of New Yorkers first,” Sen. David Carlucci (D-38) and an IDC member told the AP.

Activists see it as a temporary reprieve and a victory for now. Alex Beauchamp of Food and Water Watch told the Albany Times-Union:

Hundreds of New York health professionals agree with the State Assembly that we should not move forward without a full, comprehensive examination of the health impacts of fracking…Moving forward would simply enrich oil and gas companies that want to ship their gas overseas and their profits to Texas at the expense of New York’s public health and environment.
The oil and gas industry, unsurprisingly, is up in arms. New York Petroleum Council Executive Director Karen Moreau told the Times-Union:
Today’s vote by the State Assembly to further delay natural gas development is tantamount to telling the people of the Southern Tier to ‘Drop Dead.’ Once again, Albany politicians are putting politics before science, and the special interests before the people. The people of New York deserve better, to say the least
Given New York’s ability to fend off the industry’s desires to enter the state for going on five years, all eyes in the fracking stratosphere will be on the Senate and Cuomo – a potential 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate - in the coming days and weeks.
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Comment Preferences

  •  This is the method that all fracking proponents (22+ / 0-)

    should face. Make THEM prove that the operation is safe and will not adversely affect anyone's health instead of giving the oil companies carte blanche...

    Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students. - Berlioz

    by cwsmoke on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:31:12 PM PST

  •  NO! Director Karen Moreau .... (6+ / 0-)
    Today’s vote by the State Assembly to further delay natural gas development is tantamount to telling the people of the Southern Tier to ‘Drop Dead.’
    No, poisoning their well water by fracking in the Southern Tier WILL MAKE THEM DROP DEAD! (It may be slow, but it will happen)

    I hope Repug-Lite Cuomo will stand up to big buisness

    (Ok, as a NYS resident I am already ROTFLMAO thinking Cuomo would stand behind the people instead of big business)

    I FUCKING DETEST CUOMO! PRIMARY CUOMO IN 2014! I respect Joe Lieberman more as a Democrat than I do CUOMO!

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:46:49 PM PST

  •  This is great news - heard it here first! nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeToo, ExStr8, WakeUpNeo

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:04:55 PM PST

  •  Upstate Republicans having earthquakes as a result (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, PinHole

    - or lowered water quality - would be bad for the getting votes.

    They may vote differently from the South, NYC and LI, but some reasons they're up there are the land, greenery, natural quality.

    Screw that up and it doesn't matter how tightly any politicial clings to the NRA.

    cheerleaders need not apply.

    by kravitz on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:26:01 PM PST

  •  I'm obviously not anti-frac but (9+ / 0-)

    I support this moratorium 100%.

    Elections have meaning. The Citizens of New York elected good folks who are not convinced fracs are safe. This is a democracy and in a democracy, that means fracs are not safe.

    If the industry continues to lobby against freedom of information, continues to lobby against increased regulation and continues the scummy business of gathering leases by threats and immoral imminent domain, then I hope every state in the USA does exactly the same thing - denies them their ability to drill and frac.

    Good job. I mean that.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:46:00 PM PST

  •  I could not find out who the 40 are... (0+ / 0-)

    Looked at the Senate site and found the bill, but not the roll call.

    Found this: http://nyagainstfracking.org/
    and a disturbing entry which is probably older (not dated) and concerns my district:
    http://nyagainstfracking.org/...

    I'd like to know who the dirty 40 are...

    In the meantime, Great News!

    The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

    by MeToo on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:48:49 PM PST

    •  It's late... ah, the Assembly... well there... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PinHole

      I think my district "leader" didn't do the right thing...
      Still would like to see the list.

      http://assembly.state.ny.us/...

      Thank you Democrats and thinking Assembly members!

      The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

      by MeToo on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:01:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure our local yokel (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, JoeEngineer, MeToo

        Assemblyman was one of the 40.  Disgusting.  

        It'll be interesting to see what the State Senator does - the wineries in the northern Finger Lakes have been pressing him pretty hard to vote against fracking.  They don't want to see the water table polluted, the country side torn up with industrial sites.  Tourism in the Finger Lakes, including the wineries is big business.  

        Thank the FSM, Cornell & Ithaca anchor the southern part of the region, with many from the university against it.  The Ag Stations in Ithaca & in Geneva are where a lot of new varieties of grapes & apples & veggies come from.  I imagine Cornell itself is anxious about fracking being set up in the region, because it will impact student & prof recruitment. Already we won't go stay on vacations in regions in PA because of fracking.

  •  To paraphrase Joe Biden (9+ / 0-)

    This is a big fracking deal.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:51:12 PM PST

  •  As a NYC resident (7+ / 0-)

    And who knows someone who has spent about 5 years working on this subject (against fracking), I'm very pleased to hear this.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:15:22 PM PST

  •  anti-frak NY'er here. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, rolet, ExStr8, WakeUpNeo

    thank you for posting this and thanks to all those elected folk who voted for the moratorium.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:02:10 AM PST

  •  Carlucci is somewhat useful, for a change n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rolet

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:41:42 AM PST

  •  Millman and Brennan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, BachFan

    The two assembly members I know best, Joan Millman (my Assemblywoman) and Jim Brennan were co-sponsors, of course. They almost always do the right thing!

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. NYC's Progressive/Reform Blog

    by mole333 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 05:10:41 AM PST

  •  Glad to hear this news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, BachFan

    As a former resident of upstate NY (born and raised in Rochester), I am glad to hear this. The Southern Tier (especially the Finger Lakes region) is one of the most beautiful areas anywhere. It heartens me to hear that this area will not be spoiled by the effects of fracking. And that politicos, for once, put the interest of the people ahead of their own...

  •  Thanks NY! This is great news... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan

    for OH and PA:)  
    We could use the additional concentration of business here in OH as we transition away from coal (I hope)

  •  Hydraulic Fracturing is not a "toxic horizontal (0+ / 0-)

    drilling process."

    No part of the operation of of hydraulic fracturing involves a drilling process.

    Hydraulic fracturing is a well completion process, not a drilling process.

  •  Millenium Pipeline, Delaware County, NY (0+ / 0-)

    In FEderal Register today:

    [Federal Register Volume 78, Number 45 (Thursday, March 7, 2013)]
    [Notices]
    [Pages 14787-14788]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2013-05279]

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

    [Docket No. CP13-14-000]

    Millennium Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Notice of Availability of
    the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Hancock Compressor
    Project

        The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or
    Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) on the
    Hancock Compressor Project proposed by Millennium Pipeline Company,
    L.L.C. (Millennium) in the above-referenced docket. Millennium requests
    authorization to construct and operate its Hancock Compressor Project
    in Delaware County, New York, to meet the demands of existing customers
    and allow bi-directional gas flow.
        The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the
    construction and operation of the Hancock Compressor Project in
    accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy
    Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed
    project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a
    major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human
    environment.
        The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency participated as a
    cooperating agency in the preparation of the EA. Cooperating agencies
    have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources
    potentially affected by the proposal and participate in the NEPA
    analysis.
        The proposed Hancock Compressor Project includes the following
    facilities:
         One 15,900-horsepower natural gas-fired compressor unit at
    the new Hancock Compressor Station;
         About 320 feet of 30-inch-diameter pipeline for suction
    from the existing Millennium mainline and about 290 feet of 30-inch-
    diameter pipeline for discharge to the existing Millennium mainline;
         A new 650-foot-long permanent access driveway; and
         Associated ancillary facilities.
        The FERC staff mailed copies of the EA to federal, state, and local
    government representatives and agencies; elected officials;
    environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes;
    potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and
    groups; newspapers and libraries in the project area; and parties to
    this proceeding. In addition, the EA is available for public viewing on
    the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited
    number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public
    inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference
    Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-
    8371.
        Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. Your comments
    should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable
    alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts.
    The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To
    ensure that the Commission has the opportunity to consider your
    comments prior to making its decision on this project, it is important
    that we receive your comments in Washington, DC on or before April 1,
    2013.
        For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file
    your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the
    project docket number (CP13-14-000) with your submission. The
    Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert
    staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or efiling@ferc.gov.
        (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment
    feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to
    Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief,
    text-only comments on a project;
        (2) You can also file your comments electronically using the
    eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the
    link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments
    in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your
    submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking
    on ``eRegister.'' You must select the type of filing you are making. If
    you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select
    ``Comment on a Filing''; or
        (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to
    the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy
    Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC
    20426.
        Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a
    motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of
    Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214). 1\ Only intervenors have the
    right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission
    grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns
    intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a
    clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can
    adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not
    give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to
    have your comments considered.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        1\ See the previous discussion on the methods for filing
    comments.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Additional information about the project is available from the
    Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the
    FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the
    eLibrary link, click on ``General Search,'' and enter the docket number
    excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP13-
    14). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For
    assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at
    FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY,
    contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the
    texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders,
    notices, and rulemakings.
        In addition, the Commission offers a free service called
    eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances
    and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time
    you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with
    notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to
    the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.

    [[Page 14788]]

        Dated: March 1, 2013.
    Kimberly D. Bose,
    Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2013-05279 Filed 3-6-13; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 6717-01-P

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