Republican Senator Greg Ball warns New York legislators not to move too fast on fracking and that we should learn from our neighbor Pennsylvania’s mistakes. Ball said in a conference Wednesday that we should proceed with care. Our Erin Vannella has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. – “They took our clean water. They have to restore my water according to my lease and they have not done it, so we are holding them accountable,” Pennsylvania resident Craig Sautner said.
Dimock, Pennsylvania residents joined Republican Senator Greg Ball Wednesday in his effort to put the brakes on fracking.
Sautner said, “What's the long term affects? We don't know yet. Hopefully my kids won't have to find out about it someday when they get cancer or something, but that is criminal what they are doing to us. They have to be stopped.”
Sautner and others say they support Ball's one year moratorium on hydrofracking after living with fracking-inflicted damages on their Quaker State properties. A process meant to employ Americans and decrease dependence on foreign oil, they say, comes at too great a cost to individuals.
“When you look at this budget and the fact that the dollars aren't there to properly oversee this industry. The manpower isn't there to properly oversee this industry. And the regulations are not in place to properly regulate this industry,” Senator Greg Ball said.
But Albany-area attorney Tom West, who has represented several drilling companies, says New York is different than its neighbor.
West said, “Let's look at the facts. In New York State, there are 14,000 operating wells in New York State and about 80 percent of those wells have been hydraulically fractured and we don't have any of these problems in New York State because we have such high standards.”
West calls the moratorium ludicrous and insists fracking is good for the state. Dimock residents warn the precedent set hasn't been positive.
“This gas has been underground for millions of years. It can wait if it needs to come out until they get, until it's much safer,” Pennsylvania resident Craig Stevens said. “My water will be ruined over my dead body. You got it folks. These people are here to take from us.”
Senator Ball has also drafted a Property Owner's Bill of Rights that would mandate natural gas companies to disclose all chemicals used in the fracking process, reimburse property owners for damages and provide them with free medical monitoring for life.