Syracuse bans Hydrofracking

Hydrofracking opponents rally at Syracuse City Hall after the Common Council votes to ban it in the city

The Syracuse Common Council now has a hydrofracking ban in place. Monday afternoon, the vote was unanimous to extend Syracuse laws to stop any exploration or actual extraction of natural gas from city owned or controlled land, and to also ban the processing of water or other products from the process elsewhere, in the city of Syracuse.After the vote, which puts Syracuse in the company of Albany and Buffalo for such a ban, there was a demonstration of support on the steps of City Hall. Among those speaking, Jack Ramsden with Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, a group that's sponsored trips to see the effects of hydrofracking in Pennsylvania. Ramsden told the crowd "we have mobilized to the extent where 66 towns, villages and counties and cities around the state of New York are either in the process of banning, or have banned this process in their jurisdictions. That fight needs to continue throughout the state. Sooner or later Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature will get this message."

Among those watching the demonstration, Adam Schultz, a representative of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York. The lobby group says Syracuse's ban is 'misguided,' with Schultz adding 'Only the state is allowed to regulate the gas and oil industry in the state, which means that the city of Syracuse is without the authority to take the action they've taken today." Schultz says the group is challenging other communities' bans, and it will also consider taking action against Syracuse.