NATURAL GAS:

N.Y. Senate passes temporary drilling moratorium

New York's Senate last night voted 48-9 to impose a temporary moratorium on gas drilling and exploration in the Marcellus Shale pending safety and environmental reviews.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is studying drilling in upstate New York, where companies are attempting to tap into the Marcellus Shale, a natural gas field. The moratorium would stop new permits from being issued until May 15, 2011.

For any such measure to become law, the state Assembly needs to pass the bill. That chamber will likely face the vote in September (Mireya Navarro, New York Times, Aug. 4). --GV

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