What would you propose for the NY State Legislature to lift the ban on fracking?

In December 2014, NYS Governor Cuomo banned High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) as the NYS Department of Health (DOH) issued a report explaining the reasons for recommending the ban (see BlackBoard for the report). It should be noted that New York had a de facto ban on fracking for over six years prior to the decision, predating Mr. Cuomo’s election. In 2012, he flirted with approving a limited program in several Southern Tier counties. The letter from the Commissioner of the NYSDOH concluded: ‘Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed, DOH recommends that HVHF should not proceed in NYS.’

 

Contributing to the statewide decision, dozens of communities across New York passed moratoriums and bans on fracking, and in June 2014, the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled that towns could use zoning ordinances to ban fracking. Local bans, on top of restrictions that the state had planned, put 63 percent of the Marcellus Shale off limits to drilling, said Joseph Martens, the state environmental conservation commissioner. “The economic benefits are clearly far lower than originally forecast,” he said.

 

A triple bottom line essay is required, with at least a two page (figures are encouraged but the text must be a minimum of two pages) single spaced, 12 font size discussion/analysis to answer the question. Know your audience and do not assume any level of technical understanding. To adequately address the topic, you will need to explain the economic benefits, the hazardous reasons (concerns) for the ban cited by NYS, where concerns originate in the fracking process (thus explain the process in sufficient detail to be understood), what can be done to mitigate the concern (if any) relative to the process, and any process improvements, regulations (national or state) or studies/research (past or future you would recommend) that may attenuate or mitigate the likelihood of each hazard cited, e.g., the risk. Please list other references cited (not counted as part of the two page discussion minimum).

For your information:

NYS DOH – A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development (Dec 2014)

EPA Report on Drinking Water  – Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (June 2015)