State Senator Tony Avella of Queens and two newly-elected colleagues joined New Yorkers Against Fracking at a press conference in Albany re-affirming their commitment to banning the practice in New York State.
Hydrofracking involves mixing chemicals with millions of gallons of water and pumping the liquid into wells to create fractures in rock formations releasing natural gas that can be mined.
Senator Avella is Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee - he's one of the leaders in the effort to ban fracking. Avella was joined by newly elected Senators Cecelia Tkaczyk and Terry Gipson. Gipson is concerned about the safety and sanctity of the water supply.
The lawmakers renewed the call for necessary funding to effectively study all of the potential
impacts of hydrofracking. Julia Walsh is with Frack Action - she says the decision rests with one man - Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Conservation Director Roger Downs is reading "between the lines" : he thinks the Governor tipped his hand when he released his budget plan.
Senator Avella expects the battle over fracking will soon reach a climax: Proponents of fracking argue that there is no scientific evidence that it has caused any environmental harm. Lenape Resources president John Holko argues that during Hurricane Sandy Natural Gas kept facilities like New York University from going dark.
The Senators and activists are encouraging Governor Cuomo to follow the lead of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley who recently proposed spending $1.5 million dollars to study hydrofracking before he makes any decision to allow drilling in his state's Marcellus Shale area.