Cooperstown Brewer Fights N.Y. Fracking Sought by EOG Resources – Bloomberg

Brewery Ommegang says Belgian ale and natural gas don’t mix.Brewery Ommegang says Belgian ale and natural gas don’t mix.…

“Even our strongest beer is 90 percent water, and all of our water comes off the property,” Larry Bennett, a spokesman for the brewery about 170 miles (274 kilometers) northwest of Times Square, said in an interview.   “If you contaminate an aquifer, it’s done.   There’s nothing you can do about it.”…

“Governor Andrew Cuomo is pressuring regulators to finish their review and to start issuing permits,” Helen Slottje, an attorney with the Community Environmental Defense Council, Inc. in Ithaca who has helped towns opposed to drilling, said in an interview.   Towns are “increasingly aware of the great burden gas drilling imposes on communities and are unwilling to bear those costs,” she said.…

“They have the environmental religion,” Downey said in an interview.   “They are protecting Gaea — Mother Earth — and we’re just protecting property rights, and some money to a certain extent, and you don’t get the same passion for that.”

Slottje said the bans will hold up because zoning rules aren’t considered regulation under New York law.

“If a town draws up a generally worded zoning law that restricts or prohibits categories of activities, and that encompasses hydrofracking, there’s a strong argument that that is not prohibited under state law,” Penalver said in an interview.   “The power of municipalities to control what you can do on your land is now pretty deeply entrenched.”

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