hydrofracking

Environmental activists in Massachusetts are trying to launch a preemptive strike against hydraulic fracturing. While the controversial gas drilling practice has been the subject of fierce debate in New York for years it has drawn little attention in Massachusetts.

   The group Environment Massachusetts is urging Massachusetts lawmakers to enact a ban on fracking even though geologists and the petroleum industry insist the chances are remote the controversial gas drilling technique-- where water and chemicals are used to break rock--  would ever be used in the Bay State.

AP Photo

It’s been nearly a year since the administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state health commissioner would conduct a review to determine whether hydrofracking could be done safely in New York. Since then, little information has been released on the on going study. Now, an anti-fracking group is suing the state to find out what exactly is being reviewed.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Wednesday in Schenectady leaders of local companies, educational institutions, and other stakeholders met with government leaders to discuss opportunities through energy efficiency. 

A new report says U.S. oil and gas reserves are up by about a third - that number rise higher thanks to hydraulic fracturing. The paper released by the Energy Information Administration, the research branch of the U.S. Energy Department, says that reserves of oil and gas that can be developed using current technology are up 35 percent this year from 2011.

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.”

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.

NY appeals court to consider local fracking

Mar 21, 2013
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Towns that want to control land use through zoning against the drilling industry are being pitted against landowners who say state law trumps local authority. 

Arguments are scheduled today in a state appeals court in two cases over who should control oil and gas development.

Celeb fracking group not registered

Mar 18, 2013

Celebrities belonging to the group Artists Against Fracking are using star power to gain attention, but they may be running afoul of it.

The group created last year stages events with stars opposed to drilling for natural gas in upstate New York hydraulic fracturing.

It says forcing water and chemicals into underground rock to extract gas threatens drinking water and the environment.

But a search of the state lobbying board's online records show the group and nearly 200 entertainers who are gaining attention and support aren't registered lobbyists.

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.

WAMC (Dave Lucas)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A coalition of 65 state lawmakers is asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to release the Department of Environmental Conservation's review of potential health impacts of shale gas drilling for public comment before deciding whether to allow drilling to begin. 

The group headed by Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton sent a letter to Cuomo on Tuesday. They said the Health Department's evaluation of DEC's "health impact analysis" should be transparent, but the public hasn't been given any information about it. It's expected to be complete within a few weeks.

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.

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.

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.

Matt Rourke / AP

  A new poll shows more New Yorkers support "hydrofracking" than oppose it, with support more common in downstate regions.

A Siena College poll of registered voters found 42 percent support hydrofracking, which involves injecting a well with millions of gallons of chemically treated water to crack rock deep underground. Another 36 percent oppose it and the rest of the respondents did not express an opinion.

Siena found that residents of upstate New York opposed hydrofracking 45 percent to 39 percent.

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.

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.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has come under increased scrutiny as questions have arisen over the agency's ability to oversee Hyrdraulic Fracturing, should the process of extracting natural gas from shale be legalized in the state. In the eyes of environmental activisits, the leadership of the DEC is strong and solid... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

In a recently published interview, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation chairman Joe Martens says that the state’s review of the potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas – known as ‘fracking’ – remains a work in progress, despite the department having already produced about 4,000 pages on the subject.

An anti-fracking group has released results of a study that finds New York State is backlogged when it comes to inspecting existing gas wells - the paper says that the New York State department of Environmental Conservation wouldn't be able to make additional inspections that would be required should Hydrofracking be allowed - even if the practice is limited to just a few counties.

Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports...

Supporters and opponents of a plan to allow limited hydrofracking in New York’s Southern Tier region confronted each other at the state Capitol.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

For months, the Cuomo Administration has been signaling that it might permit the gas drilling process known as hydrofracking in a few areas in the Marcellus Shale region where the majority of people in communities want the gas drilling process to begin.

Some New York farmers look across the Susquehanna River, see the flares of Pennsylvania gas wells and think of the money they're losing as heated debate keeps hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, out of New York.

Others worry that the natural gas drilling process that blasts wells with chemical-laced water could ruin rich farmlands and dramatically harm growers.

New York state has blocked Marcellus Shale gas development for four years while it completes an environmental review. Meanwhile, thousands of wells have gone into production in Pennsylvania.

Vermont’s governor has signed into law the nation’s first ban on the natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

There's no drilling currently happening in Vermont, which is believed to have little to no reserves of oil or natural gas.

Lawmakers passed a preemptive ban on the practice and Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin signed the law Wednesday in a ceremony at the Statehouse in Montpelier…

Dave Lucas / WAMC

The issue of Hydraulic Fracturing, the gas drilling technique that extracts oil and gas from shale by blasting it with water, sand and chemicals - dominated the downtown Albany scene Tuesday:  The anti-fracking movement made a stand and a statement at the State Capitol with a full schedule of demonstrations, rallies and protests staged by various activists and green groups-

 

Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report

 

NY Anti-Fracking Movement Gets Star-Studded Boost

May 15, 2012

The anti-fracking movement in New York State is turning up the star power with a rally and concert hosted by actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo and featuring Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne and a host of other performers.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

The concert tonight at The Egg in the state Capitol complex will conclude a day of demonstrations calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for gas in New York State.

Opponents of natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing are planning a big day of action in Albany, culminating with a star-studded concert at the Empire State Plaza.  WAMC's Ian Pickus reports...

New Yorkers Against Fracking, a new coalition of organizations calling for a fracking ban, plans a rally and multi-media concert Tuesday afternoon and evening. The event features actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo acting as hosts of the concert at the Egg Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets range from $40 to $150.

A coalition of upstate New York landowners seeking to lease land for natural gas drilling is pressing state officials to consider the rights of property owners as they make decisions on shale gas development. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has details…

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York is at the Capitol Wednesday to present a "Declaration of Rights."

Anti fracking groups presented Governor Cuomo with 200,000 signatures asking for a ban on the gas drilling process in New York, and a State Senator predicts the opposition will have an effect on the governor.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports...

The coalition New Yorkers Against Fracking delivered boxes containing 200,000 signatures to Governor Cuomo’s offices that they say are from state residents who want the gas drilling process banned. An aide politely accepted them, but Governor Cuomo, whose public schedule listed him as being in Albany, did not appear.

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