Millions Spent in Albany Fight to Drill for Gas
November 25, 2011 – New York Times
By Thomas Kaplan
ALBANY — Energy companies have been pouring millions of dollars into television advertising, lobbying and campaign contributions as the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo enters the final phase of deciding when and where to allow a controversial form of natural gas extraction that is hotly opposed by environmental groups.
Companies that drill for natural gas have spent more than $3.2 million lobbying state government since the beginning of last year, according to a review of public records. The broader natural gas industry has been giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign accounts of lawmakers and the governor. And national energy companies are heavily advertising in an effort to persuade the public that the extraction method, commonly known as hydrofracking, is safe and economically beneficial.
Environmental groups, with far less money at their disposal, are mounting a more homespun campaign as they warn that hydrofracking — a process in which water mixed with sand and chemicals is injected deep into the ground to break up rock formations and release natural gas — could taint the water supply and wreak untold environmental ruin….