The NY State Assembly passed a two-year moratorium on fracking in March. The bill is now sitting in the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee.
According to the Times-Union, it’s not clear whether the moratorium will ever come up for a full vote:
Its prospects are unclear due to the unprecedented power-sharing arrangement in which Republicans wield power in the chamber with the four-member Independent Democratic Conference. Their compact gives both Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, respectively the leaders of the GOP and IDC conferences, a veto over what legislation makes it to the floor of the Senate for a vote.
With a few exceptions, Senate Republicans are eager to see fracking, which involves the use of a large amount of water and a small brew of chemicals to break up gas-bearing rock, move ahead in the massive Marcellus Shale region along the state’s Southern Tier. Environmentalists and industrial groups have spent years arguing about the technique’s potential economic and natural impacts.
The IDC has introduced its own moratorium bill, but their version would leave the decision in the hands of the Cuomo administration:
The IDC’s David Carlucci has introduced a bill that would block the technique for two years, or until the state Health Commissioner has determined that sufficient research on its potential health impacts existed to make a recommendation to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which is finalizing its regulatory blueprint on hydrofracking.
Carlucci’s bill has yet to make it to the floor.
“All four members of the IDC stand behind Sen. Carlucci’s bill,” said IDC spokesman Eric Soufer. “In the meantime, we have not received any indication that the governor has imminent plans to move ahead with hydrofracking.”