Senate Dems seek moratorium on fracking

By Matt Porter

May 30, 2013 Updated May 30, 2013 at 9:41 PM EDT

Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A senate bill calling for a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing has support among some Democrats in Albany.

The bill, S-4236-A, is supported by the Democratic Conference and would implement a two-year moratorium on horizontal gas drilling. If approved, it would also require a more comprehensive health study.

Rochester Sen. Ted O'Brien (D-55th) said new information coming out of Pennsylvania justifies an extension the prohibition of fracking.

"Our thought that a slight moratorium for a couple of years to make sure we do this right," O'Brien said, "And don't make the missteps that we've seen in other parts of the country would be the prudent way to go forward."

O'Brien said doing it wrong and endangering New York's natural waterways and lakes would be devastating to agriculture and tourism.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Binghamton Thursday, and reiterated his position that he will follow recommendations from the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Health Department.

"The DEC commissioner and the health commissioner are analyzing the data and when they have a decision," Cuomo said, "That will be the decision and the path that the state follows."

The legislative session ends on June 20. The bill would have to pass committee and the legislature before being sent to Cuomo for his signature.