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Grisanti Receives Praise and Condemnation for Earth Day

After winning the 2012 William B. Hoyt Environmental Excellence Award from the Audubon Council of New York State (at Delaware North’s swank Gideon Putnam Hotel & Spa in Saratoga Springs) for his outstanding work on behalf of conservation and the environment, New York Senator Mark Grisanti delivers the keynote address for the Buffalo Environmental Law Society at the University of Buffalo Law School tonight at 6pm, in 106 O’Brian Hall on UB’s North Campus in Amherst. Adam Hayes, the society’s Earth Week coordinator, says, “We appreciate the bills he has sponsored and the subjects he has had hearings on.”

UB is also the home of the new Shale Resources and Society Institute, funded by the gas industry.

On Good Friday, Grisanti announced five bills aimed at regulating aspects of horizontal hydrofracking in the event an upcoming DEC report ultimately leads to lifting the ban on the process in New York. Grisanti pointed to the fact that his proposed legislation had been endorsed by four environmental groups: Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Earthworks, Environmental Advocates of New York, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

When contacted for comment, representatives of those groups confirmed their support of Grisanti’s bills. They also admitted they were not supporting bill S 4220, which was introduced last spring by NYS Senator Tony Avella, and would prohibit hydraulic fracturing statewide.

Chip Northrup, a native Texan who has worked in the oil and gas industry for decades and is a staunch critic of the move to frack in New York state, has grave concerns over the loopholes he sees in Grisanti’s legislation. What concerns? For starters, the language of the bills would exempt any hydro frack jobs that use less than 300,000 gallons of water. Smaller jobs would be unaffected by the new guidelines. Also unaddressed is the particularly nasty practice of liquid propane fracking—which is being pushed by the industry in some areas of the state as a way to get around the temporary ban on using water mixed with chemicals.

“The bills, as presented, barely improve upon what the DEC has already proposed through the SGEIS. Which, in terms of actual regulations, are the worst in the US,” he writes.

Click here to read Northrup’s assessment.

  • As Chairman of the Environmental Committee in the State Senate, Mr. Grisanti s well within his right to absolutely decimate the environment.  Don’t you know who the fuck he is?

  • James Northrup

    As long as the Republicans control the state senate, the regulations in New York for shale gas development will continue to be the absolute worst in the United States. Not just flawed, but categorically the worst. 

    And Senator Grisanti is well paid to keep it that way.