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Dr. Sandra Steingraber wants a ban on carbon dioxide fracking

If you thought New York was done talking about fracking twelve years ago, think again.

A new experimental form of fracking, which uses carbon dioxide instead of water to extract shale gas, is being introduced to landowners in the Southern Tier.

The idea of ​​fracking has led to a backlash reminiscent of the anti-fracking rallies of early 2010. It also led to a bill to ban C02 fracking, sponsored by state Assembly member Anna Kelles and Senator Lea Webb.

Although the bill has passed both houses of the Legislature, the governor has yet to sign it.

Back in January, Capital tonight hosted by Bryce Phillips, the president of Clean Energy Solutions’ Southern Tier CO2 (also known as Southern Tier Solutions). At the time, he was asking landowners in Broome, Chemung and Tioga counties to lease more than 100,000 acres to build test wells.

Phillips’ actions caught the attention of some of the same high-profile activists who ended hydraulic fracturing under former Governor Andrew Cuomo, including Dr. Sandra Steingraber.

Steingraber is a retired Ithaca College scientist, co-founder of New York-based Concerned Health Professionals, an internationally renowned authority on environmental toxicology, and author of several books, including Living Downstream: An Ecoologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the environment.”

She said Capital tonight that trading CO2 for water doesn’t change how dangerous this kind of drilling is.

“Carbon dioxide fracking replaces one fluid with another, but all the other risks that fracking poses to our climate, our health and our environment come with it,” Steingraber said.

The risks include earthquakes, radioactivity and the release of carcinogens including benzene and formaldehyde.

Additionally, Steingraber said that while the water used in hydrofracking is benign, the liquid CO2 that would be used in this new experimental form of fracking is “terribly toxic.”

“I will sleep better knowing that Governor Hochul signed this bill into law,” she said.