NY State Senate Freezes Hydraulic Fracing



Like staying current? Never miss a beat!

By a vote of 49-9, the New York State Senate passed Senate Bill 8129, which places a moratorium on the issuance of permits to hydraulically fracture wells in New York State until May 15, 2011.

Passage of Senate Bill 8129 follows heated public meetings conducted by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) regarding its review and issuance of a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) for oil and gas exploration addressing horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing. The NYDEC has had a de facto moratorium in place regarding the issuance of permits using these technologies pending the issuance of the SGEIS. While the SGEIS was issued in draft form on September 30, 2009, the NYDEC has failed to take final action on the document.
When the New York General Assembly reconvenes in the coming weeks, it is possible that it will be reviewing and taking action on Assembly Bill 11443, which contains identical language regarding a moratorium.

The passage of Senate Bill 8129 and its margin of passage reaffirms that the campaign being waged by environmental groups to slow, if not stop, natural gas drilling in New York is resonating with the public, even though studies conducted in the past few years have shown the practice of hydraulic fracturing to be safe.

If passed and signed by the Governor, either bill would postpone a potential revenue source for the New York State, which has an estimated budget deficit for fiscal year 2010-2011 of $9.2 billion. According to a study from Natural Resource Economics Inc., a company based out of Laramie, Wyoming, drilling revenue in New York could reach $1.9 billion in 2015 if drilling and exploration were allowed to proceed.


(304) 353-8147
Charleston, WV