Fracking in New York
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|Fracking in New York|
|Fossil fuels present||Natural gas and oil|
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On December 17, 2014 New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that his administration would ban fracking in New York State. Previous to this ban, a statewide moratorium was in place, pending the release of a study on the potential impacts of fracking on human health. According to The New York Times the study concluded that fracking "could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks."
Opponents of fracking applauded Cuomo's decision. Previous to the ban, opponents had cited concerns over the possibility of fracking harming the state's water resources, and negatively impacting tourism and quality of life. Proponents of fracking argued that the oil and natural gas extraction technique could have reinvigorated the economically depressed communities located above the Marcellus Shale, a natural gas-rich formation that lies below parts of Pennsylvania, New York State and West Virginia.
In June 2014, the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, ruled that cities and towns in New York have the right to block fracking within their borders, maintaining that the state's applicable laws do not "preempt the home-rule authority to regulate land use." Linda Lavine, a member of one of the town boards involved in the case, said, "This is simply a victory for local control. It is a victory for liberals and conservatives of all sorts. It is what democracy is all about." Frank Macchiarola, an executive at America's Natural Gas Alliance (an industry advocacy group), said, "A regime where you essentially have local control of the process at the township level is a challenge and is more problematic for companies than if you had a statewide program. The regulatory structure at the state level is substantially better for a number of reasons."
- For information on proposed fracking legislation in New York see here.
- See also: Fracking
Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is the process of injecting fluid--mostly water and sand, but with additional chemicals--into the ground at a high pressure to fracture shale rocks and release the oil and natural gas inside.
Recent technological advances in oil and gas drilling--horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing--have created a wealth of opportunities and challenges for states with fossil fuel reserves that can be accessed through the combination of these two technologies. The increased use of fracking has been an economic boon for many states, not only those with fracking, but also those with supporting industries, such as frac sand mining or associated machinery manufacturing.
Opponents of fracking argue that the potential negative environmental and human health impacts could be significant. Although wells have been fracked for over 65 years in the United States, concerns have been raised about whether federal, state and local regulatory agencies can keep up with the recent rapid increase in fracking activity, and adequately protect the environment and human health. As with any type of energy extraction, either traditional or renewable, there are economic, environmental and political trade-offs.
On January 16, 2015, New York State Assembly member Walter Mosley (D) introduced legislation that would prohibit the sale or use of waste generated during the fracking process within the state. This legislation also would require the Department of Conservation to create rules regarding the disposal of fracking waste products. A similar bill (S 3863) was introduced into the New York State Senate on February 20, 2015.
On February 10, 2015, Barbara Lifton (D) introduced A 5033, an amendment to the Natural Gas Exploration and Extraction Liability Act of 2015, in the New York State Assembly. The bill has 12 Democratic cosponsors. This bill would make landowners who lease their lands for oil or natural gas exploration liable for any damage resulting from the "exploration, operation, transportation or extraction" of natural gas. A similar bill (S 3862) was introduced into the New York State Senate on February 20, 2015.
Natural gas use in New York
- For more information on energy consumption in New York, see "Energy policy in New York"
About one-third of New York's total energy consumed goes to the commercial sector. The residential sector is next largest consumer, followed by the transportation sector. The smallest consumer of energy in New York is the industrial sector.
Over half the homes in New York use natural gas as their main heating source, which is more than the national average. About 27 percent of homes use fuel oil, which is derived from petroleum. This figure is a great deal higher than the national average for fuel oil use, which is about six percent. New York residents use electricity to heat their homes at a much lower rate (only about 10 percent), compared to a national average of 35.4 percent.
|Consumption of energy for heating homes in New York|
|Source||New York 2011||U.S. average 2011|
|Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG)||3.1%||5%|
There are 19 natural gas utilities in New York, most of which are owned and run through local governments.
|Where electricity comes from in New York|
|Type||Amount generated (MWh)||% of state**||% of U.S.**|
|Total net electricity generation||10,367||100%||0%|
|**Note: Because the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) does not include all of a state's energy production in these figures, the EIA totals do not equal 100 percent. Instead, we have generated our own percentages.|
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "New + York + Fracking"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "New York Profile"
- Frac Focus, "National Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Registry"
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "New York Profile Analysis," updated December 18, 2013
- The New York Times, "Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks," December 17, 2014
- The Washington Post, "How two small New York towns have shaken up the national fight over fracking," July 2, 2014
- Bloomberg, "New York Towns Can Ban Fracking, State's Top Court Rules," June 30, 2014
- New York State Assembly, "2478 2015-2016 Regular Sessions," January 16, 2015
- New York State Assembly, "A02478 Memo," accessed January 22, 2015
- Open States, "A 5033," accessed February 13, 2015
- Open States, "S 3863," accessed February 23, 2015
- State of New York, "5033," February 10, 2015
- Open States, "A 5033," accessed February 13, 2015
- Open States, "S 3862," accessed February 23, 2015
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "New York State Energy Profile," updated December 18, 2013," accessed February 24, 2014
- New York State Public Service Commission, "Natural Gas Utilities regulated by NYSPSC," accessed February 24, 2014
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, "New York Profile Overview," accessed February 5, 2014
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