UTICA – The two candidates vying to represent New York’s 24th District in the nation’s capital next year may be from opposing parties, but they share the same opinion about the Energy Policy Act of 2005: It’s wrong.
The incumbent, Representative Michael Arcuri, a Democrat, proposed a bill in Dryden on Tuesday that would remove exemptions in the federal policy that enable oil and gas companies to drill without scrutiny under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Lawmakers in New York and Washington began debating the exemptions after reports of ground water contamination questioned whether the high-volume horizontal drilling technique employed to access the Marcellus Shale and other shale formations was safe.
“This amendment will hold big oil and gas to the same environmental standards as every other industry in preventing unnecessary runoff from construction sites that could contaminate our rivers, lakes and streams,” said Arcuri. “By giving them a pass on this important regulation, we're essentially assuming the oil and gas industries will take the necessary environmental precautions on their own. That's the same sort of fast-track approach that led to the BP oil spill.”