Local Push to End State Review of 'Fracking' Fails Legislative Vote
Cortland County Lawmakers have rejected a resolution calling on New York State to wrap up the health and environmental review of hydrofracking.
In a 9 to 7 vote last night with Legislative Chair Susan Briggs abstaining, County Lawmakers rejected a resolution that was asking the state to end the review of the controversial gas drilling practice known as hydrofracking, and move forward with a final decision on whether the practice will be allowed in New York.
Opponents of the controversial gas drilling process say the state should take all the time it needs to conduct a thorough review. While many landowners that want to develop their mineral resources see the state dragging its feet to avoid the political ramifications of a final decision.
The county resolution sought to pushes the state to make a decision on "fracking" one way or another and did not endorse or discourage the actual permitting of gas wells.
Legislator Charles Sudbrink who pushed for the local call to action says he gets calls on the issue from both supporters and opponents of gas drilling and he saw this as a way to act on those concerns.
Legiaotr Sandy Price who either holds or has ties to individuals that hold gas leases says she could support the resolution because the state should take all the time it needs to make sure "fracking" can be done safely if it can be done at all.
Legislator Raylynn Knolls who represents a portion of the City of Cortland voted for the resolution. She says while there will not be any gas wells in her distract she says the Governor promised a decision before the fall elections and he should stick to it. Knolls says it seems like Albany lawmakers are trying to avoid making a decision either way.
Opponents of the county request says the county has no jurisdiction in the issue and should not get involved. Opponents cited the recent court of appeals decision that has upheld that local municipalities have the final say on allowing oil and gas drilling.