Senate Democrats hosted another forum on hydrofracking. Governor Cuomo has said he thinks it would be best if a decision on fracking comes when the legislature is not in Albany. But the hosts of the event say they still want to be part of the process, even if their status with the chamber's minority members means they can't hold a full public hearing. YNN's Zack Fink has the story.
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NEW YORK STATE -- The testimony was entirely from those who oppose hydrofracking, including filmmaker Joshua Fox.
Fox made the documentary "Gasland," which included this footage. His newest video is called "The Sky is Pink" and it deals specifically with New York State.
"New Marcellus wells, instantly drilled, there is a six percent rate of failure for the cement. That's the cement that protects the ground water. So they know that. The gas industry knows that," Fox said.
It was recently leaked to the press that the Cuomo administration was considering limited hydrofracking in New York’s Southern Tier, which borders Pennsylvania. That's where the Marcellus shale, an underground rock formation, is located.
"Comparing before and after drilling in Pennsylvania in the Marcellus shale, I find that low birth weight increases, the overall prevalence of low birth weight increase by 25 percent," said Elaine Hill, a Cornell PHD student.
Senate Democrats have accused the Cuomo administration of sharing information about hydrofracking with the industry before making it public.
"One of the oil and gas companies that wants to drill here, that's under investigation in another state, for possible illegal practices, got advanced notice of the proposed regulations here. That is highly unethical if not criminal," State Senator Tony Avella said.
At a public event upstate in Utica Wednesday, Governor Cuomo was asked for a response.
Cuomo said, "They should be talking to the industry. They should be talking to supporters. They should talking to opponents. They should be talking to people in Pennsylvania. They should talking to people everywhere. This decision should not be made in secret."
A decision on hydrofracking is expected to be made by the Cuomo administration later this summer. In the meantime, opponents are using this opportunity to build as broad a coalition as possible. An anti-fracking march in Washington is being planned for later this month.