Legislators hope the extra time will allow researchers to further study the environmental impacts, specifically on drinking water.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver released a statement before the vote that read, “We will not sit idly by and endanger the heath and safety of our communities by rushing necessary health and safety reviews,” Speaker Sheldon Silver said in a statement before the vote.
This is the third time the Assembly has passed a similar moratorium bill. The other two were killed by the State Senate and never reached the governor for final approval.
The Senate is politically divided and has not shown signs of backing a moratorium.
In his State of the State, Governor Andrew Cuomo stressed the need for more research before fracking should be permitted in New York. The state has been conducting its own environmental review, but there is timetable for its completion.
Following the passing of the moratorium by the Assembly, Cuomo said he was comfortable with his own agency’s review process and awaits the findings.
New York Petroleum Council Executive Director Karen Moreau criticized Albany legilsators for blocking fracking with little reason.
“We have waited four years and seven months for ‘science’ to determine the outcome of this debate,” she said. “For the Assembly to step in to further delay the process, even though a year ago the Department of Health determined that hydraulic fracturing could be done safely, speaks volumes about Albany.”
She went on to say that it is inevitably the governor’s decision.
“Once again, Albany politicians are putting politics before science, and the special interests before the people,” she said. “The people of New York deserve better, to say the least.”