This past fall, we reported that a year after New York State banned fracking, no one decided to file a legal challenge. It turns out that's not perfectly accurate. A single landowner, who happens to be an East Rochester attorney, did indeed sue.

David Morabito still thinks he can win his case; he says the state does not have standing to prevent him from extracting gas on his property in the Southern Tier.

Morabito joins us to explain his lawsuit, and why he's taking up a lonely crusade when other pro-fracking groups decided not to sue.


First hour: Meet the only person in New York State to challenge the fracking ban in court

Second hour: Are we prepared for medical marijuana?

We open with a conversation with James Wilmot, principal officer on the Lago Resort and Casino project that was selected to move forward by a state commission.  Then we’ll turn our attention to fracking and the future of energy. We have two guests affected by the state's decision to not allow fracking:

Fracking Banned in New York

Dec 17, 2014

Environmentalists are celebrating after Governor Cuomo says there will be no hydro fracking in New York for now, citing inconclusive scientific evidence on the health effects of the gas drilling process .

In the first part of the show, we talk with Scott Waldman of Capital about his story on a fracking study commissioned by the Cuomo Administration. The study was meant to find the impact fracking had on the state's drinking water, but the spotlight is now on how administration officials had a hand in editing and delaying the study. 

Then we talk with Peter King of CBS News and WXXI's Scott Fybush.  King, or rather Peter King Steinhaus, may be familiar with some as he spent some time on the airwaves of Rochester and Syracuse. He and his brother, Rick Sommers Steinhaus, have written a book on this history of Ithaca Radio, where some of the most influential leaders of the broadcast industry, including Peter and Rick, got their start. Both are Ithaca College alumns and will sign copies of his books on Thursday at the Bill Gray's on Penfield Road from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

What does the recent court ruling on fracking and home rule mean for the future of fracking in NY state? We have insight from a number of guests including attorney Deborah Goldberg and Dryden Deputy Town Supervisor Jason Leifer. We'll also hear from journalist Tom Wilber, who says this is the political cover that Governor Cuomo needs. 


The two cases involved a natural gas producer, originally Anschutz Exploration before Norse Energy took over, and a Cooperstown-area landowner named Jennifer Huntington, challenging drilling bans passed by the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

Matt Richmond/WSKG

A petition filed by the environmental advocacy group Earthjustice along with 114 other organizations has convinced the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold a 90-day public comment period on disclosure of chemicals used in the process of hydrofracking.

Emma Jacobs/Innovation Trail

Two weeks ago, the landowners coalition sent a letter to Governor Cuomo demanding the release of the environmental impact study on fracking, known as the SGEIS.

The deadline was yesterday. And today, Scott Kurkoski, lawyer for the coalition, filed the promised lawsuit.

“Is he in favor of this or not? Because the rest of the nation is moving forward in a way that is providing energy independence. Is New York a threat to that process?”

Avon Fracking Ban Upheld

Mar 20, 2013
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The town of Avon has become the third community in upstate New York to win a court case over the right to ban fracking operations.

Western New York-based gas drilling company, Lenape Resources, took Avon and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to court over the town’s moratorium on drilling, saying the ban would put it out of business.

Jim Campbell, the Avon town attorney says they’re pleased with the court ruling, but the decision goes beyond the town itself.