Petroleum Council chief hails court decision in New York fracking case

Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:11 AM

ALBANY, N.Y., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council said she was relieved by an appeals court decision to review bans on hydraulic fracturing.

The Court of Appeals in Albany, the state's highest court, agreed to review appeals challenging bans some municipalities imposed against against the process known as fracking.

The council's executive director, Karen Moreau declared victory after the court's decision.

"Natural gas development will give a huge shot in the arm to many economically depressed areas of Upstate New York," she said in a statement.

Environmental groups have expressed concern over the drilling practice. They say some of the chemicals used in the process pose a threat to groundwater supplies.

A report from the U.S. Geological Service and Fisheries and Wildlife Service published Thursday said some fish species were killed by the spill of fracking fluid in a Kentucky creek in 2007.

Moreau said fracking is "a safe and time-tested" practice. The drilling technology is in part responsible for the dramatic increase in U.S. oil and natural gas production, industry officials say.

The Court of Appeals issued its decision without comment, The Wall Street Journal reports. It did not issue a timetable for a ruling.

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