This came over the wire as a news alert a few minutes ago:
|The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting oil from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.|
|“I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York,” said Howard Zucker, the acting commissioner of health.|
|That conclusion was delivered publicly during a year-end cabinet meeting called by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Albany. It came amid increased calls by environmentalists to ban fracking, which uses water and chemicals to release natural gas trapped in deeply buried shale deposits.|
|The state has had a de facto ban on the procedure for more than five years, predating Mr. Cuomo’s first term. The decision also came as oil and gas prices continued to fall in many places around the country, in part because of surging American oil production, as fracking boosted output.
Correction, 12/17, 2014: It has been pointed out to me that this is not a complete ban on hydraulic fracturing, but a ban on “high-volume,” or “massive” hydraulic fracturing of shale for methane. The definition of high-volume hydraulic fracturing varies somewhat, but it is generally defined as “treatments injecting greater than about 150 short tons, or approximately 300,000 pounds (136 metric tonnes), of proppant.”
I have changed the headline to make it more accurate.