Photograph by Paul Buckowski for the Times Union
Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) — the mining natural gas by sending pressurized water deep into the earth — has become a hot-button issue throughout New York. This year, anti-fracking activists have had some success in blocking the controversial process both locally and statewide. The towns of Red Hook and Warwick passed legislation banning fracking; Chester, Taghkanic, and Berne passed moratoriums against it. This brought the number of Valley municipalities that passed a ban, a moratorium, or a movement for prohibition to 32; statewide, that number tops 250. In May, anti-fracking laws passed in central New York were upheld by an appellate panel of the state Supreme Court, which ruled that the bans don’t conflict with state regulations for the oil and natural-gas industry.
However, “New York State hosts more local movements both for and against unconventional drilling activity than any other area in the U.S.,” says Samantha Malone of the FracTracker Alliance. Meaning, of course, that this battle is far from over.
» Actor Mark Ruffalo leads the fight against fracking in Upstate New York
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