fracking

WAMC News

Opponents of hydro fracking are charging there’s a potential conflict of interest with a consultant to Governor Cuomo’s environmental agency. They are asking that the years-long review of fracking in New York be restarted. The controversy caused the consultant in question to sever all ties with a gas industry lobby group.

On Earth Day lobby day at the capitol, whether or not to allow hydrofracking in New York continues to be the dominant issue.

The Senate and Assembly Environmental Committee Chairs both take a dim view of the controversial gas drilling process, but they differ over what’s the next step.

Assembly Environmental Chair Bob Sweeney believes in a clearly legislated moratorium. In fact, the Assembly has already passed one.

“I think it is pretty clear that this is a bad deal not only environmentally,” said Sweeney. “But it’s a bad deal economically too.”

NY Town Board Rescinds Ban on Fracking Talk

Apr 22, 2013
AP Photo

A town in New York’s Southern Tier has rescinded a gag order on public discussion of fracking during town board meetings. Two groups had sued the town, alleging violation of First Amendment rights. The Town Board denies liability.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s health commissioner is expected to release a health report on hydraulic fracturing soon, at least according to a timetable announced in late February. But the Cuomo Administration has already missed several deadlines on fracking.

Ben Sklar

One of the most contentious areas of debate over the expansion of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas concerns a spike in seismic activity in unlikely areas that have begun fracking nearby. Some alarmed scientists say containment wells are putting undue pressure on faults deep underground. But industry interests disagree – that is, when they say anything at all.

WAMC News

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A formal complaint filed with New York's lobbying board asks it to investigate whether Artists Against Fracking, a group formed by Yoko Ono and son Sean Lennon, is violating the state's lobbying law.

Last week the New York State Assembly voted to impose a statewide moratorium on the controversial natural gas extraction process known as hydrofracking, following reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo was considering lifting the current ban on the practice now in place.

WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke recently with New York State Assemblyman Phil Steck, Democrat of the 110th district, which includes Colonie, Niskayuna and part of Schenectady. Steck voted for the fracking moratorium, despite his district not being targeted for natural gas development.

The New York State Assembly has approved, by a 95 to 40 vote, a two-year moratorium on hydrofracking in New York. While it’s unlikely to be passed in the Senate, the action reflects state lawmakers’ growing worries about potential health impacts from the natural gas drilling process.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports.

The New York State Assembly has approved, by a 95 to 40 vote, a two-year moratorium on hydrofracking in New York. While it’s unlikely to be passed in the Senate, the action reflects state lawmakers’ growing worries about potential health impacts from the natural gas drilling process.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports.

Pete Souza/Official White House Photo

Today we are discussing two hot topics – how the so-called sequester could affect the 2014 midterm elections, and fracking in New York.

The budget cuts known as sequestration took effect last Friday, and while the overall effects of the cuts on national and local economies and government efficiency have yet to be realized, the effect of the cuts on the national political landscape may be coming into focus this week.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo denies he was close to approving limited hydrofracking for natural gas last month before talking with environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Cuomo says an Associated Press report citing state officials and an interview with Kennedy was wrong. State officials close to Cuomo and Kennedy had said Cuomo was near a decision last month to order limited drilling. 

Group warns NY drilling delays have economic costs

Mar 4, 2013
Tim Hurst / Flickr

An oil and gas industry group is warning that a business exodus from New York will worsen while Gov. Andrew Cuomo waits for a Pennsylvania health study before deciding whether to allow fracking.

Meanwhile, landowners are preparing to sue the state over lost gas-leasing opportunities.

The Associated Press reported Saturday that Cuomo came close to approving a limited drilling plan last month before environmentalist and former brother-in-law Robert Kennedy Jr. persuaded him to await a new study.

It seems wherever Governor Cuomo goes these days, he’s followed by protesters who implore him not to allow hydrofracking in New York.  Hundreds gathered in the ornate Million Dollar staircase in the Capitol, where they listen to celebrities and actors like Mark Ruffalo, aka the Hulk.

“We’ll cream you if you open New York State to hydrofracking,” Ruffalo bellowed, to cheers. 

Guests attending Cuomo’s State of the State speech had to walk a gauntlet of a long line of demonstrators, including folk icon Pete Seeger, who sang “This land is your land, this land is my land.”

Al Gore - "The Future"

Feb 14, 2013

    Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore has a new book out entitled, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.

We will talk with him about the environment, his thoughts on fracking in New York State, and about his recent payday for selling his television network.

New York State officials are facing some hard deadlines over the next few weeks with regards to whether or not the state will allow the drilling of natural gas extraction wells using the controversial process known as hydrofracking.

WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke recently with Gannett New York State Government reporter Jon Campbell for an update on state’s fracking decision making process.

WAMC (Dave Lucas)

Hundreds of anti-fracking advocates gathered Monday at the State Capitol to rally against the gas drilling process.

Gasland director Josh Fox, Actor Mark Ruffalo and Arun Ghandi, the grandson of Mahatma Ghandi had been with  rallygoers outside a hearing room at the state Capitol, where Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens was questioned regarding his agency's proposed 2013-14 budget.

When the meeting was over, the crowd of activists moved to the Million Dollar Staircase.

Tim Hurst / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The trustee of New York's $150.1 billion pension fund has reached an agreement with Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. to disclose what it's doing to reduce risks of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Tuesday that Cabot has agreed to publicly disclose its policy and procedures for eliminating or minimizing the use of toxic substances in fracking fluids. In turn, DiNapoli has withdrawn his shareholder proposal submitted for the company's 2013 proxy statement to demand such disclosure.

Wikimedia Commons / World Resources Institute

Hydrofracking remains a controversial topic across the country, and perhaps no more so in New York, where state environmental and health officials are still determining if fracking can be done safely.

Yesterday, during a joint legislative hearing on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed executive budget, Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens was peppered with questions from legislators about the administration’s fracking plans.

WAMC’s Joe Donohue spoke with former Vice President Al Gore and asked how he would advise Cuomo on the issue.

Dave Lucas (WAMC)


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) —  A poll shows New York voters nearly evenly divided on  "fracking" the same day the state's top environmental official declared his agency has no "timetable" for finishing shale gas drilling rules.


Elected officials questioned Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens about the environmental review at a legislative budget hearing on Monday. He says he expects to get a report from Health Commissioner Nirav Shah in "a few weeks."

New York state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the powerful Democrat who chairs the Health Committee, says he has questions about the state's health impact study as Governor Andrew Cuomo decides on the future of hydrofracking. Gottfried spoke on WAMC's Capitol Connection program.

Anti fracking activists, including Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, attempted to present the state’s environmental agency with over 200,000 comments, on the last day of a public comment period on the gas drilling process.  As Karen DeWitt reports, they also, along with other anti fracking activists, tried to deliver a letter to Governor Cuomo.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

More than a thousand protesters chanting "Ban Fracking Now!" crowded into Albany's Empire State Plaza concourse where lawmakers had to pass on their way to Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State speech. Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report.

Tim Hurst / Flickr

As reported this morning by WAMC’s Capital Correspondent Karen DeWitt, an 8 page document drafted last year by New York State regulators which states that the potential health impacts of fracking for natural gas could be reduced or prevented with the right regulation from the state.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation today says the document is out-dated and doesn’t reflect the conclusions of the forthcoming final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on fracking.

Musician Natalie Merchant, director Jon Bowermaster, and WAMC’s Alan Chartock will host a screening of the concert documentary Dear Governor Cuomo, about a key anti-fracking concert and rally held this past spring in Albany, tonight at 7:30 at The Linda. Chartock spoke with Bowermaster about the film and its impact.

Revised 'Fracking' Regulations Released in NY

Nov 30, 2012
AP Photo

 New York environmental officials have released a revised set of proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing natural gas and will begin taking public comment on them in December.

  The Department of Environmental Conservation says the voluminous technical document was initially posted Wednesday, a day before a deadline for adopting rules for the controversial drilling known as "fracking" or making changes and allowing more comment. It's been a year since the last public hearings on the original proposal.

Proponents of Fracking Launch New Ads

Nov 28, 2012
Ryan Delaney/WAMC

Proponents of shale gas drilling have launched a new ad campaign calling on state officials to bring a four-year environmental review to a close and allow gas development to begin in New York.

The radio and print ads were released Tuesday, in advance of a Nov. 29 deadline for finalizing regulations for gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said it's unlikely the deadline will be met because a health study is yet to be finished.

A group of Hudson Valley faith leaders gathered in New Paltz Wednesday at an event called A Spiritual Call to Ban Fracking. Hudson Valley Correspondent Hank Gross reports.

Fracking is a “crime,” according to Tom Caplan, a member of the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, who expressed his own feeling about the process.

Eliot Spitzer on Fracking

Oct 21, 2012

This afternoon Governor Eliot Spitzer returned to the Capital Region to speak at WAMC's Linda Norris Auditorium. While he and Alan Chartock covered everything from Wall Street and gun control, Gov. Spitzer also commented on hydrofracking., and what it means to have President Obama backing the practice. 

The debate over hydraulic fracturing in New York will take on a religious and spiritual flavor tomorrow. An event called the Blessing of the Waters will take place at noon tomorrow at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown at the shores of Otsego Lake. The organizer of the event is Reverend Craig Schwalenberg, the Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta.

A company that wants to build a natural gas pipeline through parts of four New York counties could be facing growing public opposition. Constitution Pipeline wants to run the line from Susquehanna County Pennsylvania through parts of Deleware, Schoharie, Chenango and Broome counties, but more landowners in those counties will not grant permission for the company to conduct land surveys for the project. Joe Mahoney is a reporter with the Oneonta Daily Star newspaper, and has been following the story. He spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

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