Fracking Order Reaches Further Than Thought

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Mark Ruffalo doesn’t need to Hulk-out over Gov. David Paterson’s veto of the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

Environmental Advocates of New York were happy to read the full text of the governor’s executive order on hydrofracking — which calls for a second public comment period on a draft environmental impact statement to be submitted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation “on or around” June 1 — as a sign that any use of the controversial drilling process could be delayed even further.

“This action will allow for another round of public review and input. In doing so, Governor Paterson signaled his understanding that high volume hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” threatens both public health and the environment and that such drilling is among New Yorkers’ top concerns,” the group said in a statement. “The Executive Order places a timeout on horizontal wells for fracking for natural gas until the DEC’s plan is finalized. In the Executive Order, Governor Paterson directs the DEC to release a revised draft on or around June 1, 2011, and opens no less than a 30-day public comment period. Given current staff levels at the agency, it’s uncertain the DEC will be finished with its review.”

Still, Green Party activist and gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins said the outgoing governor’s veto of the temporary drilling moratorium was “insufficient.”

“Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo should not take the easy way out by extending the EO (executive order) to July 1, 2011,” Hawkins said.

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