Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings vetoed a proposed ban on fracking within the City of Albany. Mayor Jennings described the proposed ban as “premature” since the New York’s DEC is still considering its final regulations for the fracking process. As an additional reason for his veto, Mayor Jennings also cited to concerns over possible lawsuits from energy companies. The Mayor was clearly concerned with the two pending New York lawsuits involving the issue of whether local fracking bans are preempted by state law. There are dozens of New York towns and localities that have passed zoning ordinances banning fracking. The Albany City Council is weighing whether it has enough support to override Mayor Jennings’ veto.
Notably, Albany does not fall within the gas-rich Marcellus Shale, and, consequently, some have argued that Albany’s proposed ban was symbolic. Albany, however, does sit above the Utica Shale formation. The Utica Shale may be the next target for drilling.