hydrofracking

WNY Drilling Defense

A local anti-fracking group is prodding Governor Andrew Cuomo to impose a statewide ban on the shipment of explosive oils.  Western New York Drilling Defense member Charley Bowman tells WBFO that

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) says New York state's hydrofracking ban could hurt national security and taxpayers could end up footing the bill.

WBFO News file photo

While anti-fracking organizations are celebrating a state ban against the gas extraction process, gas and business interests say they are outraged. WBFO's Eileen Buckley has reaction from both sides.

Poloncarz approves fracking ban on county-owned land

Jan 10, 2014
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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has approved a local law banning hydraulic fracturing, also know as fracking, on county-owned land.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

A public hearing on a proposal to restrict natural gas fracking in Erie County Monday turned into an attack on opponents and on Governor Cuomo for blocking fracking statewide.

WBFO News file photo

Erie County Executive Poloncarz will hear about the pros and cons of natural gas fracking Monday afternoon as he holds a public hearing on limiting the energy source in Erie County.

Joshua Doubek/Wikimedia Commons

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he may not decide whether the state should go ahead with hydrofracking for natural gas until after the November 2014 elections.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Erie County legislators voted in a bipartisan manner Thursday to ban natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing in the county, commonly known as fracking.

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Legislation that would ban hydrofracking on county-owned land is expected to be voted on today by the Erie County Legislature.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Supporters of a near-ban on fracking in Erie County turned out Tuesday night to vocally oppose the natural gas drilling technique.

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It has been nearly a year since the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state health commissioner would conduct a review to determine whether hydrofracking could be done safely in New York. Since then, little information has been released on the ongoing study.

New Yorkers Against Fracking

President Obama is planning on visiting upstate New York this week to promote an education plan. But whenever a major politician visits the region, the issue of fracking is often on the agenda, whether they like it or not.

Monday night brought the TV premiere of Gasland II, a sequel to the original anti-hydrofracking movie. In New York, where Governor Cuomo’s decision on fracking is still on hold, both opponents and supporters of fracking say the films have helped frame the debate.

The New York State Assembly voted by 95 to 40 Wednesday to ban hydrofracking in New York for at least another two years.

Governor Cuomo says he supports his Administration’s internal health review on hydrofracking in New York, and he says it could even hasten the gas drilling process in the state, should fracking ultimately be approved.

The governor says he supports his environmental commissioner’s decision not to launch an independent health study, and to instead have the administration’s health department review new health assessment data compiled by the Department of Environmental Conservation. 

WBFO News file photo

Protestors against the introduction of hydrofracking in Western New York gathered in Niagara Square on Saturday.

The protest followed a symposium held by the Buffalo Association of Professional Geologists at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Many at the symposium proposed that hydraulic fracturing could be an economic boon for the region if done properly. Opponents claim that the environmental concerns are too significant to bring the controversial practice to Western New York, and they are lobbying for a permanent ban on fracking.

The natural gas industry sees hopeful signs in a new poll that finds more New Yorkers now support hydrofracking.

A Quinnipiac University survey also finds upstaters, who live where the gas drilling process would occur, back fracking in greater numbers.

The Quinnipiac poll finds that by a narrow four point margin, New Yorkers surveyed believe that the economic benefits of natural gas drilling, including job creation, outweigh the potential harmful environmental effects. Quinnipiac’s Mickey Carroll says opinion is still somewhat evenly divided.   

Matt Richmond / WSKG

Shortly after opening its doors at this spring, the Shale Resources and Society Institute (SRSI) ignited a controversy that persists several months later.

The newly-founded SUNY Buffalo institute issued a study which found a decline in accidents and environmental damage caused by hydrofracking – a drilling technique using high volumes of water, sand and chemicals to extract natural gas from shale far below the Earth’s surface.

Opponents call the study flawed and biased in favor of the oil and gas industry.

The dispute attracted national attention, especially in the higher education community

WBFO File Photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo says there is no timetable for making a final decision that would allow hydro-fracturing in New York. 

Cuomo has been keeping activists from both sides of the fracking issue in suspense.  Environmentalists are seeking a ban on the controversial procedure.  Drillers want to go ahead with fracking -- a process that uses large amounts of water, sand and chemicals to extract natural gas from shale. 

The Governor addressed the issue with reporters Wednesday during a break in a policy conference he was attending in New York City.

The contentious issue of hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, in New York State continues to divide residents. 

A recent Siena College poll shows likely voters are evenly divided on whether they want fracking allowed in the state: 39 percent support it, 38 percent are opposed, while 23 percent either have no opinion or don't have enough information. 

"You also have to look at this from a regional perspective," said Siena pollster Steve Greenberg.

Governor Andrew Cuomo offered some support to a plan to permit hydrofracking in New York in communities that welcome the gas drilling process.

Numerous sources and published reports have said that the Cuomo Administration may permit hydrofracking  in some communities in New York’s Southern Tier  where the majority of residents  want natural gas drilling .

Communities that are mainly opposed to fracking would not be forced to accept drilling.   

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

The University at Buffalo is distancing itself from a controversial hydrofracking report recently released by one of the school's affiliates.

The Shale Resources and Society Institute was formed at the school this year as a source for credible information and research regarding shale gas. It's first report, indicating an improvement in the environmental effects of hydrofracking, has been harshly criticized by being funded and directed by industry interests. Other studies show the Institute's results to be false.

A University at Buffalo Shale Institute study of hydrofracking will no doubt raise eyebrows, especially in those organizations that have been most outspoken against the controversial method of extracting natural gas.

The study, which its co-authors say was funded entirely by UB, looked at the environmental impacts during Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania from January 2008 to August 2011. 

Mark Leitner/WBFO

About a dozen representatives of Citizen Action, The Sierra Club, and several other public advocacy groups gathered in front of the Mahoney  State Office Building in downtown Buffalo Monday to reiterate their strong opposition to hydrofracking in New York.

Speakers said the natural gas industry holds far too much sway over local and state politicians with their campaign contributions. They said as a result, leaders are turning a deaf ear to the concerns of health and environmental advocates who contend that fracking ruins the groundwater supply.

An historic preservation group is weighing in on hydrofracking for the first tim, and they don't like what they say they’ve been learning about the gas drilling process.

They say it would change the nature of the landscape from rural to industrial and would detract from heritage tourism in the Marcellus shale region.

Every year, the state’s leading historic preservation group, the Preservation League, lists historic sites that they believe are endangered, known as New York’s Seven To Save.

State Senator Mark Grisanti unveiled a package of bills today that he says will protect the environment should hydraulic fracturing of natural gas move forward in New York. 

At a news conference in downtown Buffalo Friday, Grisanti said his bills would prohibit public sewage treatment plants from accepting wastewater from hydrofracking and would set up a system so that the public could easily access information about the location of gas wells. 

Alberto Mari / via Flickr

Niagara Falls has banned the treatment of fracking fluid.

The move comes after the Niagara Falls Water Board was openly considering treating fracking fluid from wells in Pennsylvania and Ohio in order to boost the city’s finances.

 The liquid is a toxic mix of chemicals and heavy metals used during the controversial natural gas drilling technique.

Opponents of fracking argue there is no safe way to purify the liquid before it is discharged into public water sources.

Unanimous vote

Hydrofracking supporters state their case in Buffalo

Nov 29, 2011

Mention the word "hydrofracking" and you could spark some heated debate on whether New York State should allow the method by which natural gas is being pulled from the Marcellus Shale.   Tuesday morning  in Buffalo, supporters of the practice stated their case in a panel discussion.

The forum was made up mostly of supporters for hydrofracking.  Opponents, who did not take part, claim that the procedure of using liquid to fracture shale beneath the surface to loosen and extract natural gas could also adversely affect water and air quality.