Assembly pauses fracking permits
Albany TU | By CASEY SEILER State editor
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
ALBANY — Arguing that the state needs more time to assess the potential effects of the natural gas drilling technique known as hydrofracking, the state Assembly on Monday passed a moratorium on the issuance of new permits until June 1, 2012.
The measure would cover drilling for oil as well as gas, and would cover vertical drilling using hydrofracking — a method already in use around the state — as well as the horizontal drilling that the drilling industry wants to begin using to tap the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, massive gas-bearing regions that stretch from Pennsylvania into New York’s Southern Tier.
The measure passed the Assembly 91-46, according to a preliminary tally. It faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where the narrow Republican majority views natural gas drilling as a major economic opportunity for hard-pressed upstate regions.
Until it comes out of the legislature as a law, there is no moratorium or ban. There has to be more to the story.