Fri October 14, 2011

Dryden fracking ban fate hinges on Nov. 8 election

The fight over home rule and gas drilling is centered on downtown Dryden, N.Y.
Matt Richmond WSKG

The fate of a ban on hydrofracking in the Town of Dryden hinges on an upcoming election.

Technically, the ban's future rests with the judges that will hear a lawsuit brought against the town by drilling firm Anschutz Exploration. It's likely that the dispute about whether the state's authority to regulate drilling supersedes a town's right to say what goes on in its borders, will take years to sort out in the courts.

But practically speaking, the ban could be overturned by simply rewriting Dryden's zoning law.  And if Republicans sweep an upcoming election, Dryden could be in an odd position.  

That is to say: One of the very first towns to have its hydrofracking ban challenged by a driller, may not actually have a ban anymore.

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Fri October 14, 2011
Marcellus Shale

Fracking meeting canceled because agencies "not prepared"

A meeting scheduled for today, of the state's hydrofracking advisory panel, has been called off.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which convenes the panel, confirmed that the meeting was not happening, but did not give a reason.

The 17 member advisory panel includes environmentalists, local government officials, and representatives from the natural gas drilling industry.  It's charged with giving recommendations to the DEC about how to best handle hydrofracking.

Erica Ringewald is the communications director for Environmental Advocates of New York, whose executive director, Robert Moore, is part of the advisory panel. She says the meeting was canceled because a number of state agencies did not have reports ready about how they will be affected by drilling.

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Thu October 13, 2011

Challenge to Dryden fracking ban could echo across New York State

There's a showdown brewing in Dryden, New York.

Back in August, the town passed a zoning ordinance that banned the practice of hydrofracking for natural gas.  A month later, they were being sued by gas company Anschutz Exploration.

What happens here - who flinches, who wins - will reverberate across the rest of New York state.  And it all hinges on a simple question: 

Can you, or can't you, ban drilling within your own town limits?

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Thu October 13, 2011

Gas drilling boom brings new life to steel industry

Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 12:01 am

Chapman Corp. is expanding to take advantage of extra business it expects to get in coming decades because of increasing production in the Marcellus Shale play.

Jeff Brady NPR

A natural gas drilling boom in Pennsylvania is helping the economies of Rust Belt cities long accustomed to bad news. Drilling requires steel — lots of it — and that has manufacturers expanding and hiring new workers.

While much attention has been paid to the environmental risks of drilling into the Marcellus Shale, the economic benefits have been less prominent in the national discussion. But in Youngstown, Ohio, locals have been watching an old industry come back to life.

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Wed October 12, 2011
Morning trail mix

Binghamton-area company denies interest in fracking waste

Marie Cusick WMHT

Today in your Trail Mix:

A firm in Endicott has allegedly begun conversations with the DEC about being the first facility in New York to treat fracking wastewater.

Governor Cuomo is signing on with the president's jobs bill.

November 14 is the deadline to apply for flood assistance in the Binghamton area.

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