dalemcneill / Flickr

A group of farm families in Tioga County wants a state permit for a natural gas well that uses gelled propane. It’s still fracking, but it would skirt the state’s ban.

The debate around fracking in New York state has been mostly about hydraulic fracturing -- using large quantities of water mixed with chemicals to break up underground shale formations and release natural gas.

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced this week that he is leaving that position, just two days after he issued the final environmental impact statement banning hydrofracking in the state.  The final report on fracking is a signal for others to move on as well. Anti-fracking groups say they are using New York’s stance to help convince other states -- and even countries -- to also ban the gas drilling process.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Regulators in New York are moving ahead with a plan to prohibit hydrofracking within its borders. In the latest step, the state released its final environmental review last week. And New York’s unique stance on fracking could have wide-ranging effects.

New York state releases final fracking report

May 13, 2015
Bosc d'Anjou / Flickr

New York state regulators have released the long-awaited final version of its environmental impact review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. And it’s expected to lead to an official state ban on fracking.

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

Hydraulic fracturing is currently not allowed in New York state. But a group of medical professionals, advocates and residents are warning that the industry still poses a grave risk to the empire state.

It’s not fracking that’s causing worry. It’s the industry infrastructure that has a large footprint in the state, despite the fact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced late last year that fracking would not be permitted in New York.

David Chanatry / New York Reporting Project

Earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his State of the State address in Albany. But unlike years past, one thing was missing. Anti-fracking protestors used to show up each year at the speech to voice their opinion at the high-profile event. This year, they had a different message.

Unlike the thousand or so activists who lined the Empire Plaza hallways in years past, this group was smaller and in better spirits. After Cuomo banned hydrofracking in New York, the protesters wanted to give him a shout out.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Environmentalists are celebrating after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there will be no hydrofracking in New York for now, citing inconclusive scientific evidence on the health effects of the gas drilling process.

Marie Cusick / Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will prohibit hydrofracking in New York state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said at a cabinet meeting this morning that he was recommending a ban. Cuomo had repeatedly said he would defer to Martens and acting health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker in making the decision.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

A reform group studied votes taken by local governments across the state on whether to allow hydrofracking, and found numerous potential conflicts of interest that they say could have tainted the outcome of the votes.

The New York Public Interest Research Group studied 59 municipalities that voted to permit hydrofracking in the past few years, if New York state eventually approves the process. They found numerous questionable activities, including locally elected officials holding gas leases and town attorneys who also represented oil and gas companies.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

A temporary ban on the controversial gas extraction method hydrofracking has dragged on for years. Even as the governor says a long-awaited study is nearing completion, a large group of local officials want the ban to continue.

Elected Officials to Protect New York, made up of more than 850 local-level elected officials, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration still has not properly studied fracking enough.

It’s looking less and less likely that state senators and Assembly members will get a pay raise as a holiday present this year, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers still have a number of issues they need to resolve before the year ends, ranging from the siting of gambling casinos to how to close a Thruway deficit and whether to go ahead with hydrofracking.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

  Opponents of hydrofracking say they want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a three- to five-year moratorium on fracking in New York state. The gas drilling process has been on hold for several years.

A coalition of groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, say Cuomo should immediately issue an executive order postponing any gas drilling. NRDC’s Kate Sinding  says that’s preferable to trying to get a bill passed through a divided state legislature, where the state Senate will be controlled by the Republicans in January.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins says he’s not going away now that elections are over. He says he intends to continue drawing attention to issues like raising the minimum wage and building his party, instead.

Hawkins says the Greens, who were the only party to gain voters in the elections, intends to build their membership in the coming months. Hawkins says 70 percent of voters did not bother coming to the polls, and he sees potential in the disaffected electorate.

“Those are the future Green voters,” Hawkins said. “That’s the way we’re looking at it.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Now that elections are over, supporters and opponents of hydrofracking are wondering what will be Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s next move on the long-stalled gas drilling process in New York state.

New York has had a de facto moratorium on fracking for several years. Most recently, Cuomo has said he’s awaiting results of an over two-year long health review being conducted by his administration.

During a debate in October, Cuomo said the review would finally be completed by the end of the calendar year.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

After Tuesday's election, gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins declared that the Green Party is now the "third party" in New York state politics.

Hawkins, who is from Syracuse, earned about five percent of the vote statewide, but did the best in Tompkins County where he received more than 16 percent of the vote.

Opposition to the natural gas drilling process known as hydrofracking is a big part of the Green Party's platform. Hawkins says in the months to come the party plans to build on the momentum of what he called a big Green vote.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The controversial issue of hydrofracking will come up in Wednesday night’s gubernatorial debate if Howie Hawkins has anything to do with it. The Green Party candidate will be on the stage in Buffalo with Democratic incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Republican Rob Astorino and Libertarian candidate Michael McDermott.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

In the final weeks before elections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been promoting his memoir and announced travel plans to Puerto Rico. One thing he hasn’t been doing is running a typical campaign, and he’s said little about what he’ll do in the next four years.

Cuomo, who holds a double-digit lead over Republican candidate Rob Astorino, has more than $30 million in the bank. He has employed a rose garden strategy for much of the political season, and seldom holds campaign events.

He says he's simply letting his job speak for itself.

Hawkins: fracking industry is "winging it"

Oct 14, 2014

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins says the natural gas industry’s short-sighted attitude is not what New York needs. 

Hawkins recently visited a northern Pennsylvania region that’s experienced an energy rush using the drilling method known as fracking. Part of New York state sits on the same shale formation, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been hesitant to open the state up to extraction, over pressure from environmental advocates.

Rob Astorino, the Republican running for governor, says fracking would bring a major economic boom to the struggling Southern Tier.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made some of his most extensive comments on the controversial topic of hydrofracking to date.

For the past two years, ever since the governor asked his health department to conduct a health review, Cuomo has had little to say about the review, or even what was being studied. He would only say that the work was continuing.

Cuomo now says it is a challenge for his administration to hurry a decision, because there is new and often conflicting evidence emerging every day.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino was in Oswego Tuesday to meet with supporters, including Assemblyman Will Barclay, to discuss his plans for office if elected. One of the many topics he covered was the need to regrow the upstate economy, including leveraging the region's residents and location to help spur economic development.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

The issue of hydrofracking played a role in the recent Democratic primary for governor in New York, and those who oppose the gas drilling process hope it will influence the general election, as well.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, once on a fast track to begin the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing in New York, has put his decision on hold while his administration is conducting a health review that began two years ago. Cuomo, asked about the future of fracking in the state one day after the Democratic primary, said he’s still reserving judgment.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

While Gov. Andrew Cuomo says there has been no progress on a decision about hydrofracking in New York state, the movement opposing the controversial gas extracting technology gets louder. There are a couple of candidates in the upcoming election who want to tap into this anti-fracking fervor.

"We got the people power, la la la," yelled several protesters gathered at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. "We got the people power, la la la!"

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

A group of healthcare professionals are seeking a meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health department, saying they have compiled a compendium of new and ongoing research highlighting numerous health risks associated with the controversial natural gas drilling process called hydrofracking.

The health experts include a doctor, a veterinarian, and a Cornell University medical professor, who have requested a meeting with Cuomo’s acting health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, to go over the growing number of studies indicating numerous health risks associated with fracking.

Bosc d'Anjou / Flickr


In a decision released last week, the highest court in New York ruled that local governments can ban drilling within their borders. And while hydrofracking remains on hold in the state, the ruling is expected to have a huge impact on the industry in New York if fracking is eventually permitted.


The dean of the law school at Cornell University, Eduardo Penalver, helps explain the court's ruling

upholding local bans on gas drilling in New York.


Bosc d'Anjou / Flickr

In a 5-to-2 ruling, New York’s highest court has upheld the right of local governments to ban hydrofracking within their borders. The decision comes after a nearly three-year court battle over bans passed in the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield. Fracking opponents hope to now spread the bans to towns that were waiting for the court’s final ruling.

Innovation Trail

The debate over whether a municipality can ban hydraulic fracturing within its borders was brought before the New York State Court of Appeals Tuesday afternoon. The Southern Tier town of Dryden is defending its right to home rule against lawyers representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy.

Earthjustice managing attorney Deborah Goldberg says she feels confident bringing the case before the court because home rule is protected by the state constitution and New York isn’t alone.

Bosc d'Anjou / Flickr

Researchers and medical professionals from around the state gathered in Albany to urge acting Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to impose a three- to five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York state.

Yuri Gorby, a researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, says the medical community is only just beginning to understand the health impact of hydrofracking, and the moratorium would give New York a chance to make a fully informed decision.

President Barack Obama’s visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown was closed to the public, but that didn’t stop protesters from both sides of the hydrofracking debate from heading there anyway.
The president was there to talk about upstate tourism, but for many of the other day visitors the economic issue was hydrofracking in the state’s Marcellus shale region.

President Barack Obama and the national press descended on the village of Cooperstown Thursday afternoon. His presence also brought out protesters both for and against the controversial process of drilling for natural gas, known as hydrofracking.

Victor Furman says it’s unfair that New York is beholden to what he calls an unfair moratorium, with such a resource at it’s feet.

Astorino: Binghamton could be Dallas of New York

May 7, 2014

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino touted the benefits of hydrofracking during a series of stops in the Southern Tier yesterday. One of the stops was at a Vestal company that does roadwork for oil companies just across the border in Pennsylvania.

Astorino visited the Binghamton-area company Vestal Asphalt and linked upstate New York's declining population with a lack of jobs and high taxes. He pointed to fracking as a way to reverse that trend and transform the Southern Tier.