Last Monday, hundreds of landowners rallied in downtown Binghamton, saying that the state has taken from them their ability to develop their mineral rights on their lands.  The event was organized by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.

Late last month, the commissioners of the state Departments of Health (DOH) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said that they are not convinced that fracking can be done safely, and that fracking should therefore be prohibited in New York State.

We disagree with the state’s decision to ban natural gas development using hydraulic fracturing.  The process can be – and should be – well regulated.

Natural gas development is important to the Southern Tier.  This ban is just another example of downstate interests imposing their values (and their unwarranted fears) on Upstate.  We need to stop saying “no” every time someone raises environmental concerns about a project, and figure out how to minimize adverse environmental impacts.  That is being done in other states, and there is no reason why it cannot be done here in New York.