ALBANY, N.Y. – Scarsdale Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88), chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, announced the passage Wednesday of legislation that wound extend the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York.
Continuing the ban would allow for a comprehensive review of the technique while the Department of Environmental Conservation examines the process. The bill now moves to the Senate for passage.
“In my position as chair of the Energy Committee, I am involved and interested in all of the decisions made regarding hydrofracking,” Paulin said. “While there are certain obvious benefits in regards to moving forward with hydrofracking, there are still many unanswered questions.”
The Assembly first passed a one-year moratorium on hydrofracking in the state in November 2010 that was vetoed by Gov. David Patterson. In June 2011, it voted to extend the ban for a year, but the Senate took no action on the legislation. The current bill would enact a moratorium until May 2015.
The moratorium will provide the Legislature with additional time to examine the facts, including the long-awaited Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement.
“We need more time to tell, as the Health Department has indicated, as to whether there are substantial risks to beginning a process, one that could have detrimental effects on our water supply and air,” Paulin said.
Alternative methods may be on the horizon, she said, and it may be beneficial to see where that technology takes the state.
“We are in the process of developing an energy highway and relieving the bottleneck in our transmission grid, so that we will see more energy in our area,” she said. “We don’t know if we need the capacity that hydrofracking would bring to our state. There are a lot of issues that need to be examined and looked at. Two years may not be enough time, but it would at least give us some time before we go forward with something as potentially dangerous as this.”