Last night, the New York State Assembly voted to temporarily ban hydrofracking, a controversial method of extracting natural gas from deep shale rock. In a statement released a short time ago, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said:
“I will not let anything stand in the way of making sure all New Yorkers have clean, safe water… By preventing hydrofracking from moving ahead without careful study, we have protected our water supply and served notice to the industry that the health and safety of New Yorkers is our top priority. When it comes to keeping pollution and dangerous chemicals out of our water, there is simply no acceptable level of risk…”
The six month moratorium is meant to give state and federal environmental engineers time to study whether the procedure could endanger the water supply. The Senate passed the measure during the summer. Governor Paterson has expressed support for the legislation, but has not specifically indicated whether he’ll sign the bill.