New York Natural Gas Drilling Bans Upheld

There are two towns in the state of New York that had hoped to be able to drill for natural gas but it’s not going to happenNew York Natural Gas Drilling because bans on the drilling were recently upheld in court. This is happy news for the environmentalists who are opposed to the drilling, particularly a type of drilling called hydraulic fracturing. However, it’s bad news for NY natural gas companies. Luckily for them, the decisions aren’t final; they’ll go to the next stage of the court process and be considered for appeal.

The two towns

There were two different towns in New York dealing with this same issue. The first was Middlefield. The second was Dryden. The two cases were separate from one another. However they were both recently ruled on by different State Supreme Court judges with the same conclusion: natural gas drilling bans remain intact.

Many other towns

Although these two towns are in the spotlight right now, the issue is widespread across the state. The state itself banned hydraulic fracturing in 2010. Since that time, approximately twenty different towns have passed natural gas drilling bans.

What is hydraulic fracturing?

The main issue at hand with these two towns was the issue of hydraulic fracturing, a method of drilling for natural gas. In this method, "chemically treated water is forced underground to break up rock and free trapped gas". People with environmental concerns say that this affects the quality of the drinking water in the area and is therefore bad for residents.

Will natural gas companies look elsewhere?

The ruling in these two cases is likely to discourage natural gas companies from trying to work in the state of New York. It is believed that the affected region could supply natural gas to the United States for approximately seven years but there are other states with less tight regulation that those companies may decide to work in first. For now, the jury is still out when it comes to hydraulic fracturing as the state tries to figure out the environmental details.


Publish Date: 2012-03-22 17:05:13

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About the Author
Christina Cleri has been writing about the energy industry since 2010. She focuses on topics that affect customers in each deregulated state.

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