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Energy

Attorney general pushes for fracking review

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Courtesy WAMC
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants Delaware River officials to take a look at fracking - soon.

New York's attorney general Eric Schneiderman is urging the Delaware River Basin Commission to study gas drilling, or face a lawsuit, reports Cara Matthews at Vote Up!:

Schneiderman said fracking poses risks to the environment and health, “including withdrawing large volumes of water from creeks and streams, contamination of drinking water supplies, generation of harmful wastes, increased noise, dust and air pollution, and harms to community infrastructure and character from increased industrial activity.” The Delaware River Basin includes the New York City watershed and portions of Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Schoharie, Green, Ulster, Orange and Sullivan Counties. More than nine million New Yorkers depend on it for water each day. Roughly 58 percent of the land area of New York City’s West-of-Hudson watershed is within the Delaware River Basin. “Both the law and common sense dictate that the federal government must fully assess the impact of its actions before opening the door to gas fracking in New York,” he said in a statement. “New Yorkers are correctly concerned about fracking’s potential dangers to their environment, health and communities, and I will use the full authority of my office, including aggressive legal action, to ensure the federal government is forced to address those concerns.”

But the gas industry is firing back, reports Nick Reisman at State of Politics, saying the AG has a "fundamental misunderstanding" about what the Commission is able to do.  The AG shot back, saying he'll use the "full force of his office to ensure New Yorkers are fully aware fo the potential impacts of this type of drilling."

Meanwhile Derrick Ek reports at the Corning Leader that utility company NYSEG is planning a new pipeline to deliver natural gas in the Southern Tier:

The project will “increase the reliability of natural gas supply in the Elmira area and help enable NYSEG to continue to provide natural gas at competitive prices,” according to a release from the company. “Currently there’s only one source of supply into the Elmira area, and this would give us a second option,” NYSEG spokes-man Clay Ellis said. Aside from increasing capacity, the new pipeline would provide a safety net in the event of a service interruption with the other feeder line, and would also increase NYSEG’s flexibility in providing gas to the Elmira-Horseheads area, Ellis said.

Efficiency

The city of Binghamton is pushing residents to make their homes more efficient, reports Nancy Dooling at the Press & Sun-Bulletin.  To fund that effort, there's a plan in the works to use a $160,000 grant to use college students to do audits and suggest improvements:

Advocates also are calling for state leaders to approve a law that would allow homeowners to easily repay energy efficiency loans as a line item on their utility bills, said Tarik Abdelazim, Binghamton's director of Planning, Housing & Community Development. Abdelazim said allowing financing for utility bills could create local jobs and dramatically reduce energy costs for property owners statewide.

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