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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS STATEMENT

For immediate release:
Thursday, December 9, 2010
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org
Sarah Eckel, Legislative Director, 202-486-9007 (mobile), seckel@citizenscampaign.org
William Cooke, Director of Government Relations, 518-461-9947 (mobile)

DEBUNKING MYTHS ABOUT THE HYDRO-FRACKING SUSPENSION

Albany, NY – The hydro-fracking suspension bill (S.8129B) passed the NYS Assembly on November 29, 2010, is sitting on Governor Paterson’s desk. He has until Monday, December 13, 2010 to either sign or veto the legislation. Thousands of New Yorkers have called, written letters, and emailed the Governor to sign the legislation. While citizens and advocates weigh in with the Governor to pass the legislation, the gas industry is propagating myths and scare tactics.

Here are the facts:

  1. The hydro-fracking suspension only applies to new permits for oil and gas wells.
  2. The legislation sunsets on May 15, 2011
  3. The hydro-fracking suspension DOES NOT apply to water wells
  4. The measure only applies to “the drilling of a well…for the purpose of stimulating natural gas or oil”
  5. The inclusion of vertical wells was intentional and critical
  6. Gas companies threatened to drill vertically into the Marcellus & Utica Shale formations during the moratorium and then convert those wells into horizontal wells as soon as the moratorium sunset.
  7. Companies should not be allowed to side step the on-going environmental review process ordered by Governor Paterson through a loophole for vertical wells.
  8. There are numerous environmental and health concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing. These concerns are equally applicable to vertical as well as horizontal wells, e.g. hazardous chemical use, toxic wastewater generation, stray gas migration, truck traffic, air emissions, etc. These are all impacts being examined in the on-going environmental review process and new vertical wells should not be drilled until the impacts are fully assessed and any mitigating measures are identified.
  9. The gas industry is vastly overstating the job loss associated with a hydro-fracking time-out. The legislation only applies to hydraulic fracturing “in low permeability natural gas reservoirs, such as the Marcellus and Utica formations.” The legislation only applies to the same formations that are currently under review in the GEIS process. It does not apply to on-going vertical drilling in other types of formations, and jobs associated with current drilling will not be affected.
  10. Norse Energy, which is currently drilling in the Herkimer formation, stated on 12/01/10 that the hydro-fracking suspension bill would have no impact on its current operations.
  11. Industry claims that jobs, royalty payments, and state and local tax revenues would be lost is untrue. Current operations would continue.


CCE strongly urges Governor Paterson to sign the Hydraulic Fracturing Suspension Bill (S.8129B). This law is needed to send a strong signal that New York is serious about comprehensively analyzing and the risks before allowing new hydraulic fracturing to occur.

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by seckel  12/9/10