As we head toward the new year, the NYS Legislature prepares to re-convene, and the Governor prepares his State of the State speech and the unveiling of his proposed budget.

Solid Shale has been on hiatus, as most individuals interested in shale gas in NYS have focused on the preparation and submission of comments on the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) dSGEIS during its defined comment period.  If you have not yet done so, good guidance on how to submit comments by the 1/11/12 deadline is available at: http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=2011_SGEIS_Flaws%28NY%29

Now, the sponsors of bills introduced last year, as well as new possible legislation to be introduced this year, are beginning to speak publicly about the upcoming legislative session and their goals.

Ball suggests that a moratorium is needed because we do not have the resources in place to deal with hydrofracking:

Ball said a moratorium is needed because Governor Cuomo is not expected to allocate any funds to regulate fracking and gas drilling in next year’s executive budget proposal.

“Without the funding to properly regulate and without the manpower to properly oversee this industry, we must put the brakes on fracking,” Ball told the crowd. “It’s our fundamental responsibility to learn from the mistakes of other states like Pennsylvania and avoid the devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing here in New York. Without the funding and manpower in place to protect the well-being of our environment and our citizens, a moratorium is necessary so we can get the proper resources and regulations in place.”

The entire article is available at: http://www.thedailypeekskill.com/news/ball-calls-moratorium-hydrofracking

Another news source, WGRZ, has information about the stands of other legislators on the idea of a Moratorium:

Another issue expected to get plenty of attention is natural-gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-Ithaca, and other lawmakers in both parties said they’d push for a moratorium on the much-debated technique, a move opposed by some Senate Republican leaders. New York has yet to allow high-volume hydrofracking, but is moving to finalize a state report sometime in 2012 that would allow the process to go forward.

Senate Energy Chairman George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, said the hydrofracking issue is “more administrative than legislative,” but acknowledged that plenty of bills will be introduced to try to limit the technique.

Said Maziarz, a hydrofracking supporter: “It’s clearly going to be a topic that’s going to be discussed.”

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