Wednesday
August 4, 2010

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State Senate votes to delay hydrofracking

ALBANY – A midnight vote by the State Senate has passed a measure that would place a moratorium on hydrofracking for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation for 11 months.

The 48 yes votes included 15 Republicans, among them Hudson Valley Senators John Bonacic of Mount Hope and Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie.

Ulster County Legislator Susan Zimet, who was among the leaders of a statewide effort to have the moratorium approved, said the bill was “DOA three weeks ago until our press conference.” Among the participants who urged the 11 month delay were folk singer Pete Seeger of Beacon and actor Mark Ruffalo of Sullivan County.

The State Assembly is expected to take up the bill in September.

Opponents of hydrofracking say the process of pumping chemicals under intense pressure into the shale formation would contaminate drinking water supplies, including the New York City system in the Catskills.

On a related note, a company that had planned on drilling in neighboring areas of Pennsylvania is pulling out.  Cabot Oil & Gas reportedly is not willing to wait out a Delaware River Basin Commission moratorium on drilling until a study into the impact on the Delaware watershed is finished.

 


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