The state Assembly voted yesterday for a 24-month moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, apparently emboldened by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to hold off on allowing the natural gas drilling process in New York state. In a statement defending the bill, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said a moratorium was necessary to allow for sufficient time to thoroughly study the issue. “We need to better understand the broad impacts to our environment, our economy, and the health and safety of all who work and live in New York before the Department of Environmental Conservation makes its decision," he said. Supporters of fracking condemned the move saying fracking will bring a needed boost to the upstate economy. The bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate although members of the Independent Democratic Conference have proposed a similar measure. The Assembly bill also requires a health impact assessment to be carried out using a model recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
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