Streams

Cuomo Administration Outlines Plan to Allow, Regulate Fracking

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo will open his state to a natural gas drilling technique that has been blamed for water contamination in other parts of the country. Up until now, New York has been the only state to sit out the fracking boom. The state is a big prize for the energy industry, but drillers will have to comply with tough regulations.

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Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique for getting gas out of tiny air pockets deep underground. In Texas, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, it's been linked with a variety of problems, including spills and explosions.
New York sits atop the Marcellus Shale, which is believed to be one of the largest gas reservoirs in the world. But so far it's been the only state to sit out the fracking boom.
Now, regulators say they've crafted a plan to do it safely. Among the precautions, are system to track and dispose of toxic flowback water.
So called "unconventional" sources of gas, like the Marcellus Shale in the northeast US, are a growing part of the nation's energy mix.
For NPR News, I'm Ilya Marritz.

One day before a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is set to expire, state regulators offered a preview of their plans for regulating the controversial natural gas drilling technique.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique for getting gas out of tiny air pockets deep underground. In Texas, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, it's been linked with a variety of problems, including spills and explosions. New York sits atop the Marcellus Shale, which is believed to be one of the largest gas reservoirs in the world. 

Now, regulators say they've crafted a plan to do it safely. Among the precautions, are system to track and dispose of toxic flowback water.
So called "unconventional" sources of gas, like the Marcellus Shale in the northeast US, are a growing part of the nation's energy mix.
For NPR News, I'm Ilya Marritz.

Fracking has been blamed for water contamination, among other problems.

Under the state's plan, a vast swath of the Catskill Mountains sorrounding New York City's drinking water reservoirs would be permanently off limits to fracking. Syracuse's reservoirs would also be protected.

Other precautionary measures include a ban on surface drilling on all state owned land, and a system for tracking the disposal of toxic flowback water that's a byproduct of fracking. The plan is substantially stricter than an earlier proposal by the Paterson administration, which environmentalists criticized, saying it contained too many loopholes.

Governor Cuomo is calling for an advisory panel of energy industry representatives and people from the environmental movement to draw up a plan for monitoring and enforcement.

The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, an industry group, didn't respond to the specifics in the plan, but said in a statement "after so many months of waiting and delay, we look forward to the chance to get people working and our economy growing."

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Comments [11]

It took years for New York to clean up the Hudson River, fouled by PCBs from GE.
Remember Love Canal? A nightmare.
Remember the foul clouds of vomit-like waste that floated in the basin under Niagra Falls, and how long it took to clean up those?
Remember the Superfund sites, spending millions to clean up a few of the thousands of toxic waste dumps throughout the country?

Too long ago for you? How about the BP oil spill? We never learn.

Industry leaders always say they will do it right. Fracking companies tell their leaseholders that there is no LINK between their chemicals and cases of contamination. That's what the Tobacco industry said about cancer, after they suppressed their own studies that showed the truth.
That's what is just starting to happen with fracking across the country. The companies in Pennsylvania who left piles of chemical waste on top of farmland in Pennsylvania, and now are suing the owner/leaseholder to condemn the land THEY polluted, is the norm.

We need jobs in new sustainable energy fields, not the last gasp efforts to exploit the last pockets of gas through dirty fracking.
W

Jan. 05 2012 07:40 AM
Greg in Denver from God's Country

EPA Administrator explained a couple of weeks ago that NOT ONE confirmed case of water contamination has occurred due to fracking.

For the unaware, fracking occurs more than ONE MILE deep and the techniques used are so sophisticated that the only problems have happened due to spillage on the surface, not leaking from well below the aquafers.

The lighting of the water is actually naturally occurring methane that is near the surface.

But, let's not let facts get in the way of a good emotional/hysterical group think response from the Luddites in the Green Movement.

Keep them on the Plantation, do not let good jobs be created, more for the Gov't to take care of!

EMOTE more, THINK less, that is Progressive...

Jul. 01 2011 02:49 PM
JAY

New York state is sitting out only one thing: the vast revenue natural gas could bring the state. When the nanny statists finally lift the fracking ban, they will find that Pennsylvania has sucked the shale dry. Dopes!

Jul. 01 2011 01:00 PM
Ryan from Canada

Before anyone approves fracking, they should know about the woman in the Canadian province of Alberta who lives close to a fracking station and has the amazing ability to set her drinking water - the water that comes into her kitchen taps, her bathroom taps, her laundry - ON FIRE.

Jul. 01 2011 11:22 AM
SSC

Aside from environmental concerns, there are some who worry this could be a financial bubble and that actual productivity is questionable.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/natural-gas-drilling-down-documents-5-intro.html

Jul. 01 2011 11:07 AM
Matt

Hate to sound paranoid, but this is NYS politics. I can't help but thinking lifting the ban was part of some backroom deal so that the gay marriage ban could be lifted.

Remember when Obama passed the healthcare law, and weeks later, all of a sudden the moratorium on off-shore drilling was lifted?

Jul. 01 2011 10:28 AM
Antion from NY


so destroying the gulf coast wasn't enough. I am so terrified to hear this news. Is there anything that can be done to stop this. I fear so deeply for the future of this country the way we foolishly turn our heads to the destruction of our environment and how we are sitting on choices that could destroy the good clean bodies of water we still have. Corporate and political greed could truly destroy any type of decent future if we don't figure out a way to really get this country moving towards a green environmental economy, but can we do it in time.

Jul. 01 2011 09:54 AM
Mark

Cuomo received campaign financing from the Koch brothers, what did you expect?

Jul. 01 2011 09:19 AM

Tragic! I have supported him thus far but with this he loses me. He has clearly sold out and is looking for the quick fix. He has no future vision and is very very out of touch with the impact of this process on the health of those in the state and all the way down stream.
I had heard he was on the fence, but this is unacceptable. LISTEN TO THE NEW YORKERS Mr. Cuomo.

Jul. 01 2011 09:18 AM
LH from Brooklyn

NOT a good idea.

Jul. 01 2011 09:05 AM
Dona

If the governor allows Hydro-fracking in our beautiful State of New York, I say RECALL! He is not listening to the majority of New Yorkers who do not want it! Where is his vision to seek out Green energy alternatives? We will not give up, we will stop this...

Jul. 01 2011 08:50 AM

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