New York Bans Fracking

Activists protest fracking outside Gov. Cuomo’s office in Manhattan. Photo by CREDO.fracking on Flickr.

On Wednesday December 17th New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would ban fracking, the controversial fossil fuel extraction method. LCC strongly supports this move. Fracking involves injecting large amounts of water, sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressures to release oil and natural gas from rock formations. New York has had a moratorium on fracking for the last six years.

Cuomo cited concerns about health risks in announcing his decision. Acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker presented the result of a five-year study on the health impacts of fracking to the Governor. Zucker identified worries about water contamination and air pollution. He stated that he would not want to live in a community that allowed fracking.

Vermont banned fracking in 2012, a move for which the Lake Champlain Committee actively lobbied. New York has substantially more potential natural gas reserves that could be tapped through fracking than does Vermont.