New York has had a ban on Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) facilities since 1973, when a horrific explosion in Staten Island killed 40 workers. Now the natural gas industry is lobbying to lift the ban, and the DEC has come out with a new 8-page regulatory framework based on an antiquated 1976 law. Publicly, the DEC and the gas industry claim that the regulations are just to allow for small-scale truck fueling stations and have nothing to do with fracking, but the new regulations go well beyond DEC’s stated goals. The truth is that they would give a green light for the oil and gas industry to potentially build out a massive infrastructure for fracking, including enormous import/export facilities.
Noting this contradiction, the gross inadequacies in the regulations, and that expanded natural gas infrastructure is not in New York’s best interests, the New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition has called on Governor Cuomo and the DEC to withdraw the regulations.
October 30 marked the one and only public hearing on the proposed regulations. The hearing took place at DEC’s headquarters in Albany at 2:00 PM. Preceding it, at 12 noon, hundreds of New Yorkers rallied outside, demanding that the regulations be withdrawn and that New Yorkers want a renewable energy future, not fracking or its dirty infrastructure.