by admin on December 12, 2010

New York governor vetos bill, Issues order for 7-month moratorium on horizontal fracking.

New York Governor David Paterson has vetoed the legislation that would have stopped the permitting of all new oil and gas wells, both vertical and horizontal.  Instead, an Executive Order has been issued by the governor to the state Department of Environmental Conservation requiring that no new permits be issued for horizontal hydraulic fracturing by that department until July 1,2011 at the earliest, “if at all”.    The department was also ordered to perform a comprehensive analysis of the industry and it’s impacts.  Per the statement posted on the governor’s website:

“The Governor emphasized that there must be absolutely no doubt that high-volume fracking is safe. The enormous revenues that could eventuate from such drilling would not be worth the cost of serious environmental harm. All available evidence, including data from other states (editor’s italics added), will be examined, the Governor said.”

New York officials will be watching closely to see what happens in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  The mistakes and accidents that occur in those two states will assist policy makers in New York in determining whether or not to extend a moratorium when the current order expires.

The governor, by vetoing the bill that would have created a moratorium on horizontal fracking and conventional vertical well drilling, has given the gas producers a concession.  The producers may still drill a vertical well, which may later be extended in a horizontal direction if and when the current order prohibiting the permitting of new horizontal drilling projects expires on July 1, 2011.

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