Fracking bills absent from last-minute legislative scramble

Legislation about hydraulic fracturing isn't even on the table during these last few hours of the New York State Legislature's manic session.

Legislators meeting late last night and re-adjourning today will consider a "Big Ugly" bill that tackles issues like rent regulation and a property tax cap, and they'll also reapply themselves to the question of whether to legalize gay marriage. Up against that combustible mix of issues, three anti-fracking bills have faded into the legislative woodwork.

Not everyone is pleased with this development. The New York Chapter of the Sierra Club wrote on its website this week that the lack of action on fracking is "disappointing:"

It is indeed disappointing that in the final hours and frantic confusion of the 2011 legislative session, hydrofracking priorities will not be in the mix but we are, perhaps, victims of our own success. The argument against fracking has been so compelling that few state lawmakers believe, on either side, that drilling will happen anytime soon.  The urgency to act is tempered by the notion that this will be a drawn out process.