Court rules in favor of local fracking bans

Jul 1, 2014

New York's rules about natural gas "fracking" have become more complicated following a ruling by the state's highest court that local governments can ban the gas drilling process.

Albany has been the site of anti-fracking rallies in recent years.
Credit WBFO News File Photo

Governor Cuomo has long stalled the process of hydraulic fracturing until there is a completed study on the health risks. No one appears to know when that study will be completed.

Across the state, nearly 170 local governments have barred fracking or put a moratorium on the process.

Now, by a five-to-two vote, the State Court of Appeals has ruled a local government can bar fracking. Among others, Buffalo has banned the process and Erie County has banned it on county-owned land.

"What good is it having a job when you have ruined your water?" said Buffalo Democratic Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

"There is still some information that we yet need to know about fracking. I personally feel that since it's natural gas I think everything the Creator created, He created for us to use. Our problem is we don't know how to find it without damaging anything or find it in a safe manner. And, I think that's what we need to wait on for the scientists to figure that out," Peoples-Stokes said.

Clarence Republican Assemblyman Ray Walter says fracking was always going to be a scattered process because of different drilling prospects but wants Albany to make a decision either way.