Lawmakers urge Governor to keep ban on hydrofracking


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Over 35 lawmakers from Oneida County have already joined over 425 elected officials across the state to sign on to a letter urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to continue banning hydraulic fracturing in New York, at least until more is known on the process.

The letter states that as elected officials they share the responsibility to protect the people of their counties and state against the gas extraction process, what they fear could permanently damage drinking water. They say until the facts and the science prove that hydraulic fracturing is safe, New York's moratorium should remain in place.

"In Pennsylvania there was no requirement for baseline data to be submitted by gas industry to study this thing, so when New York says they've got it figured out there's too many unknowns," said Oneida County Legislator Chad Davis.

Legislator Davis says until the facts and the science prove that the gas extraction process is safe, and won't permanently damage New York's drinking water, the state's moratorium should remain in place.

He says that reviews on hydraulic fracturing do not disclose the chemicals that are used, whether the cement casing seal will prevent gas leaking, and that there are still no answers on what to do with the water that comes back up and can have radioactive elements like Radon in it.

"Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. behind cigarette smoking," said Davis. "It's natural to be in shale two miles down, it's not natural to be brought back up in water in our living earth and that's what's going to happen."

However some people are for the process coming to New York. Hydrofracking is estimated to bring jobs and very profitable energy to the state.

Legislator Davis feels the technology would bring a short term boom and long term bust and one he fears Governor Cuomo could act on soon.

"Word is with more than one report that he may have an answer before the years out to go forward and it may impact 4 or 5 counties down state and in the southern tier with 50 wells or permits initially and the following year at least another 100 wells," said Davis.

The group of lawmakers biggest worry is that once the gas industry gets their foot in the door, over the Pennsylvania border, they'll be no turing back on what they could do throughout the state.

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