Fracking Moratorium Partially Vetoed by New York Governor

Fracking activists in New York

Over on earlier this month, I wrote about a big win in New York. The State Senate and State Assembly approved a ban on hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) until May 15, 2011 in order to perform more research on the health, air quality, water quality, and environmental safety effects of fracking before continuing this sketchy practice.

There is more and more evidence popping up that fracking is much more harmful than fracking companies say it is. And this ban was due to local evidence of the matter and public outcry (including the ongoing attention of film star and New York resident Mark Ruffalo).

The New York fracking legislation, if passed, would have been “the first time any state has stood up to the big oil and gas companies and said no new fracking unless and until they can demonstrate it can be done safely.”

Unfortunately, New York Governor David Patterson did not pass the moratorium passed by the State Senate and State Assembly. Instead, he vetoed the bill put before him and then “signed his own tailored executive order” into law that, on the plus side, made the moratorium a little longer (extending it until July), but, on the other hand, only put a moratorium on fracking in horizontal wells, leaving fracking in vertical wells as a legal option.

As you can see in the video below, Senator Liz Krueger and Mark Ruffalo are happy with the partial win but less than happy with the decision by Governor Patterson to leave vertical fracking out of the moratorium.

“Craig Sautner of Dimock, Pennsylvania, whose house was the ‘ground zero’ of water contamination in his area, stood at the press conference saying that the very technique that Patterson has allowed to slide through (called ‘vertical fracturing’)  is the same one that has destroyed his property,” Jess Leber of writes.

To help encourage Governor Patterson to close this faulty loophole (which, of course, made the gas industry quite happy), sign the petition below created by Frack Action.

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Photo Credit: Frack Action