ALBANY – The State Assembly has approved a bill that would extend a moratorium on hydrofracking in New York until May 2015. The Albany Times Union is reporting that by issuing a moratorium, the state will allow for the completion of several significant health impact studies related to hyrofracking. The vote for the moratorium was 95 to 40.
In a news conference Wednesday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said while his majority Democratic conference has sympathy for the economic challenges facing upstate and the nation’s need for energy – he added that until there is conclusive scientific evidence that hydrofracking won’t pose a peril to the environment or human health, a moratorium is appropriate.
A similar two-year ban was proposed Tuesday by Senator David Carlucci of the Independent Democratic Conference, but that effort is more uncertain due to the IDC’s power-sharing deal with Senate Republicans, who generally support approval of the controversial natural gas drilling technique. The Senate could act on the bill as early as today.
Silver said Assembly and Senate passage combined with a show of public feeling on the issue could lead Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a moratorium bill.