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May 9, 2013

Middlefield drilling ban upheld


“These decisions continue to wreak havoc in our towns, displacing most town business with issues that should be decided at the state level,” the coalition said in a statement. “Local municipalities are simply not equipped to decide issues affecting our state and national interests in producing clean domestic energy. New York cannot have a ‘not in my backyard approach’ to energy development.”

Anti-drilling activists in the town of Oxford seized on the rulings within hours after they were issued. Richard Lacey of the group Oxford Visionaries said his group will press the Oxford town board to join the Village of Oxford in creating a joint comprehensive plan and “dump the pro-gas law” enacted in 2007.

Oxford and several other towns in Chenango County, has been eyed by the gas industry for potential gas wells.

The state has placed a moratorium on horizontal high-volume hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. The Cuomo administration has prepared draft rules to govern fracking. But before deciding whether it will allow fracking, it has said it will await a health study being overseen by Dr. Nirav Shah, who was installed as state health commissioner by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Shah has told reporters there is “no timetable” for the decision.

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