New York State Is Banning Fracking

Citing health concerns, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today he is banning fracking in the state. Pennsylvania, meanwhile, pushes forward with a tax.

In a policy decision that will no doubt be heard in Pennsylvania, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will ban fracking in the state. New York has had a de facto ban for several years, predating Cuomo’s administration.

Fracking in Pennsylvania is centered in the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from surrounding states into Western Pennsylvania and Northwestern New York. It was an issue in the governor’s race largely because of Tom Wolf’s push to tax fracking to fund schools.

Even in the Democratic primary, there was not much debate on the legality of fracking. Anti-fracking activist Liz Arnold rushed the stage to protest fracking during a primary debate held at Drexel. “Free expression is one thing,” moderator Larry Kane said, “inappropriate behavior is another.”

But New York has proceeded much more cautiously, debating health concerns about the process, which is technically called hydraulic fracturing.

Pennsylvania, though, has been full speed ahead. The gas industry is fighting Wolf’s proposed fracking tax, saying it will “stifle energy production and the jobs that go with it.”

[NYT | Inquirer]