Although many bills having to do with hydraulic fracturing for natural gas were debated this session, it appears that they will not make it to the floor of the NYS Senate for a vote.

Update:  No bills pertaining to gas extraction are on the Senate Active Calendar as of the beginning of the day today, Monday, June 20.

The League of Women Voters of NYS, a non-partisan organization that champions good government, has put out this last-minute appeal to its members and friends:

Sunday June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day

Dear Members of the League of Women Voters and Friends-For the Benefit of us and our Children, Please read and act on the following:

Nassau County based Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has not brought to the New York Senate floor for a Vote any protective legislation relating to the unconventional-horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Monday, June 20, 2011 is the last day of the Legislative Session. Please place a call Monday to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ office: (518) 455-3171 to confirm you support the following proposed legislation (by Bill Number), which is supported by the New York State League of Women Voters. Tell Senator Skelos’ aide that it is not acceptable for the Senate Leader to refuse to act on any of these bills which State Voters want addressed. Every call makes a difference.

A.7400 Sweeney/S.5592 Carlucci — One Year Moratorium on Hydrofracking:  As we reported last week, the New York State Assembly has already passed a bill that would suspend all permitting for hydraulic fracturing until June 1, 2012. But this bill will go nowhere unless the Senate passes their own version and the governor signs it.

A.7013 Sweeney/S.4616 Avella — Classifying Fracking Waste as Hazardous: Toxic drill cuttings and fluid wastes are coming over the border from Pennsylvanian gas wells into ill-equipped New York landfills and treatment centers, endangering the drinking water of millions. Even though fracking chemicals arrive at the drilling site as regulated hazardous materials, federal and state exemptions allow drillers to treat the same drilling wastes leaving the site as standard industrial waste. This bill will update current regulations so that all resulting waste from natural gas drilling meets the definition of hazardous waste under New York State law.

A.3245 Lifton/S.3472 Oppenheimer — Restoring Local Protections Over Natural Gas Development (Home Rule): This bill will clarify a local government’s right to enact and enforce zoning laws within their jurisdiction to protect them from the negative impacts of oil and gas development. The burden of oil and gas development is an unfunded mandate on upstate communities if they are not allowed to use the most basic land-use planning tools to protect unique local assets.

“The public is increasingly ready to commit to change in its energy use patterns, invest in its children’s energy futures, and is no longer willing to accept the notion that a corporate business plan is the same as a national strategic energy plan.” –Anthony Ingraffea, Professor of Engineering, Cornell University

Thank you for taking the time to act in the best interests of the economic and environmental future of our great state.

Elisabeth Radow

Chair Hydraulic Fracturing Committee

For the New York State League of Women Voters

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