Mayor Not Giving Up Fight Over Fracking Ban

By Adam Chick

October 3, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton was the biggest city in New York to have a moratorium in place against hydraulic fracturing.

And it's been local law since last December.

That was until Tuesday when the ordinance was thrown out by a State Supreme Court judge.

Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan has been outspoken against hydrofracking from the beginning, touting the ban against the practice as a huge victory for the city.

But a State Supreme Court judge felt otherwise and struck down the ban in a controversial ruling Tuesday.

Despite what was a clear setback Ryan said Wednesday he's not discouraged, nor is he giving up the fight.

"The strongest part of the decision was judge Lebous affirming the Middlefield and Dryden decisions and said we certainly had the right to put a ban in place or a moratorium in place," said Ryan.

In February, a state Supreme Court judge ruled both local hydrofracking bans Dryden and Middlefield were legal.

The problem with Binghamton's move, according to court documents, was the city failed to prove a moratorium was a dire necessity.

The legal definition of a moratorium requires proof that hydrofracking is harmful to the environment.

That's proof that nobody has, at least in New York, which is still far away from deciding whether hydraulic fracturing will even be permitted within its borders.

The Judge said instead of proof, Ryan and City Council are basing so called conclusions on supposition rather than fact.

"I was very glad to see that the judge understood that the city had made the wrong decision," said Elvin Jeffrey, one of those who petitioned the state's Supreme Court against Binghamton.

It's decision that may create ripples throughout the state for towns whose leaders are standing firmly against hydraulic fracturing.