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Gov. Paterson Vetoes Natural Gas Drilling Moratorium

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Gov. David Paterson has issued an executive order prohibiting the hydraulic fracturing process of drilling for natural gas until at least July 1.

But the outgoing Democratic governor also vetoed a bill Saturday to temporarily ban general natural-gas drilling in the state.

Paterson's move balances environmentalists' worries about the potential harm of the drilling on groundwater -- and business groups who say the moratorium has an impact on all gas drilling.

The governor's order prohibits fracturing in New York's Marcellus Shale while the state Department of Environmental Conservation reviews the effects of such drilling on water used by New Yorkers.

Hydrofracking involves using chemicals to blast into rock to access the natural gas underneath.

The governor says the general ban would negatively affect the state's struggling economy.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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