Actor Mark Ruffalo is back again to advocate for delaying drilling the Marcellus Shale formation of the Southern Tier. But this time, Ruffalo will be in New York City with several Senate Democrats to urge the Assembly to take up a temporary moratorium on drilling for natural gas. The moratorium would delay permits for drilling until May 15. Senate Democrats, along with environmentalists and some property owners, have argued that drilling for gas in the formation using a method called hydraulic fracturing could harm water quality.
The moratorium was approved in the Senate last week, 48-9. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, issued a statement saying he supported waiting for more information until drilling was allowed.
But those in favor of drilling—landowners and the industry—have argued that the permits should be granted soon and will be boon to the economy of the area. The Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to release a study on the effects of drilling at year’s end.
Ruffalo, who was in Albany in July with folk legend Pete Seeger, advocated for the moratorium outside the Senate chamber.
The New York City event is scheduled for noon on Tuesday.