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New York News

For NY Farmers, Fracking Means Salvation — Or Ruin


Some New York farmers look across the Susquehanna River, see the flares of Pennsylvania gas wells and think of the money they're losing as heated debate keeps hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, out of New York.

Others worry that the natural gas drilling process that blasts wells with chemical-laced water could ruin rich farmlands and dramatically harm growers.

New York state has blocked Marcellus Shale gas development for four years while it completes an environmental review. Meanwhile, thousands of wells have gone into production in Pennsylvania.

The debate is whether the gas unlocked by fracking is worth the risks of contaminating drinking water and adverse health effects. In the middle are the landowners — many of them farmers — who must decide whether to sell their mineral rights.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.