December 8, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 41°F


City bans hydraulic fracturing

The Common Council has banned the leasing of City of Ithaca land for hydraulic fracturing in a unanimous vote Wednesday.

The vote was 10-0, Ellen McCollister, alderperson of the 3rd Ward, said.

The Town of Dryden, which is located about 13 miles east of Ithaca, banned fracking this summer, but Anschutz Exploration Corporation, a drilling company, is suing the town, citing the ban as illegal under state law. Syracuse lawmakers also banned hydrofracking within city limits in October.

Fracking is a controversial procedure that oil and gas companies use to drill for methane gas.  Drillers inject sand, water and chemicals into the rock formation to open the pre-existing rock fractures and extract the natural gas. Ithaca rests on the Marcellus Shale — a subterranean rock formation that contains largely untapped sources of natural gas.

Proponents of fracking argue that untapped sources of natural gas, a limited resource, could provide power for the U.S. for close to a decade. In addition, supporters argue that fracking would create employment opportunities both directly in drilling and indirectly in local businesses that benefit from more regional workers with disposable income.

To see where each of the four mayoral candidates stands on hydraulic fracturing, visit

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