Mayor David: Binghamton will never frack

By Perry Russom
By Jillian Marshall

Mayor David: Binghamton will never frack

January 14, 2014 Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 11:16 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton Mayor Rich David will not fight a court's decision to invalidate the city's local ban on hydraulic fracturing.

It's a defiant move against the previous administration, which worked to ban fracking within city limits.

In a phone interview, he said it didn't make sense to pursue the law that was invalidated in 2012 by the State Appellate Court because it expired at the end of the year.

"Even if the state does approve it in the future, there will never be fracking in the city," said David.

He called it a premature move by the previous administration to ban fracking in the city before the state even approved it.

He said the only pieces of land large enough for a well to be built in the city are on public property and he says that will never be permitted.

"Since the law had already been expired, there was no point trying to overturn a judge's decision which invalidated it because the law no longer existed," said David.

He said fracking was never in the forefront of the city's concerns.

He says he wants city employees to have their focus directly on issues that affect Binghamton.

Former Mayor Matt Ryan, who spearheaded the move for the local fracking ban responded to the city's change of direction, and he had some choice words for the city's new mayor.

"I know what Mr. David knows about fracking because I've heard him talk about it. He knows little to nothing, you could put, fit it in a thimble. And he shouldn't be getting involved with things he doesn't know about," Ryan said.

He went on to say more than 150 other cities in New York have exercised their right to ban drilling or have moratoriums on drilling.

"I still care about the city of Binghamton; I spent eight years of my life working as hard as I could to protect the city. I studied environmental law, I'm a lawyer, I taught environmental law for ten years. I know a lot more than Mr. David about this industry," Ryan said.

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