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Executive Fiala Encourages Veto of Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium

(Binghamton, NY)  Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala was joined Monday, December 6th, by business leaders, landowners and representatives of local union labor to ask Governor Paterson to veto the bill passed last week by the Assembly that places a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. 

The bill was passed by the New York State Senate earlier this year.  If signed by the Governor, the moratorium would be in place until next May and could be extended. 

“The problem with the bill is that it interjects politics into the review process that should be overseen by our New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,” said Executive Fiala. “Let the scientists do their job and let’s see what they have to say in the Supplemental General Environmental Impact Statement.  Then let’s move forward and figure out what is necessary to allow safe and responsible drilling in New York State.”
 
“Hydraulic fracturing has been used in NYS for more than 40 years.  This bill doesn’t just address large scale fracturing in horizontal wells. It targets vertical wells as well as horizontal.  It targets many formations, not just the Marcellus. It is an attack on the natural gas industry, and it sends a bad message to any company looking to commence or continue natural gas development to New York.” said County Attorney Joseph Sluzar.  “This bill even runs contrary to the NYS Energy Plan; it is simply not good government.”
 
“New York State is suffocating from too many taxes and not enough revenue,” said Greater Binghamton Chamber President Lou Santoni. “We have an industry that is seeking to make tremendous investments in New York State and is not asking for any incentives at a time when the State is facing astronomical financial pressures.  This moratorium just doesn’t make sense.”
 
“A new moratorium, on top of the existing moratorium, will make it more difficult for landowners to achieve their protective leases,” said Attorney Scott Kurkoski, who represents the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York Inc. a non profit organization representing landowners with more than 800,000 acres. “When this happens, the landowners and communities lose, but it’s a win for the gas companies.”
 
At Monday’s news conference, County Executive Fiala added that many lawmakers voted for the bill as a “symbolic” gesture. 
 
“We don’t need symbolism right now, we need action,” Fiala stated.
 
If Paterson signs the bill, New York would become the first state to pass a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. 

 

12/14/2010 - 9:58am