Environmentalists in upstate New York are calling for a ban on natural gas extraction operations with a technique that would use carbon dioxide.

An out-of-state entity recently sent information to thousands of Broome, Tioga and Chemung county landowners about the possibility of gas extraction in the region.

Southern Tier CO2 to Clean Energy Solutions wants to lease at least 100,000 acres of land in the Marcellus Shale region. The company may move forward with drilling pilot wells by next spring.

Walter Hang of the Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting said a statewide campaign is being launched to urge Governor Kathy Hochul to take action to block what the company hopes to do.

Hang said 6,500 letters have been mailed to Southern Tier property owners seeking mineral rights to clear the way for fracking using carbon dioxide.

The company intends to take advantage of a loophole in a 2014 fracking ban announced by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo. That move only addressed a specific natural gas extraction technique called high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Hang is encouraging people to contact Governor Hochul to ask her to prohibit all forms of fracking, including those that don't use water.

Hang said the lure of potentially billions of dollars in gas revenue means "sooner or later, they're going to try to frack with whatever they can to get through the little loophole."

Hang said the company promoting the use of carbon dioxide is touting the technique as an environmentally-friendly solution to climate change. He dismisses that as "self-serving slick marketing greenwashing."

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and state Senator Lea Webb have asked the state's environmental conservation commissioner to address some concerns they have about the latest fracking proposal.

LISTEN: Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting discussed the possibility of fracking using carbon dioxide in New York state on WNBF Radio on December 12, 2023.

Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting speaking during a radio interview on December 12, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting speaking during a radio interview on December 12, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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