Democrats Knock Republicans For Rejecting Clean Water Bill (Updated)

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A bill by Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, to require the state Department of Environmental Conservation to make companies disclose the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing and to prohibit fluids that pose a health risk was rejected this morning in the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee.

Democrats are knocking Republicans’ rejection of the bill, saying they are standing with “big oil and gas companies” instead of New Yorkers’ health.

The bill required eight votes to move out of committee to be considered on the Senate floor, but it only mustered seven. All five Democrats on the committee — Sens. Tony Avella
Adriano Espaillat, Bill Perkins, Jose Serrano and Andrea Stewart-Cousins — voted in favor of the measure, but six Republicans were no votes — Sens. Owen Johnson, Carl Marcellino, George Maziarz, Betty Little, Cathy Young and Tom O’Mara.

Two Republicans voted “aye with recommendation” — Sens. Mark Grisanti and Kenneth LaValle. Their votes would have allowed it move to the Senate floor for a vote, but they needed one more Republican on board.

Updated:

Krueger ripped Senate Republicans for rejecting the bill. She said her GOP colleagues talked during the meeting about the need to create jobs in upstate New York, where the drilling would take place.

“It’s jobs and the environment. Not one of the other,” she told Gannett. “I’m sorry, you’re not allowed to create jobs for short-term gain while destroying clean water in the state of New York for the future.”

She said she’s considering a petition to get 38 signatures from her Senate colleagues that would force a vote on the Senate floor.

The use of a cocktail of chemicals to drill deep into the ground to extract natural gas is a controversial method that is currently banned in New York until the DEC completes its review of the practice, to be released sometime this summer. Yesterday, hundreds of protesters were in Albany to blast hydrofracking.

Here’s Krueger yesterday talking about the issue at the rally.

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