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COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph taken by AP Images for FrackNation, this new eye-opening billboard was unveiled today in natural-gas rich New York near the Pennsylvania border. The aggressive billboard shatters claims by environmentalists and anti-fracking filmmaker Josh Fox, that natural gas production has caused local tap water to become flammable. The billboard promotes the controversial documentary FrackNation, which is being called ‘an answer to Gasland.’ The "exploding faucet" is one of the most widely viewed images in the Oscar nominated, anti-fracking documentary Gasland and the billboard dramatically points out historic records that state “The water was on fire in 1669.” The Billboard also features township signs for Burning Springs, N.Y., Burning Springs, W.V. and Burning Springs, K.Y. where residents obviously knew their water could be set on fire centuries before natural gas production began. “As journalists, we felt it was important to bring to light the truth and counter the common, inaccurate scare stories about ‘exploding’ tap water,” said McAleer. (Adam Hunger/AP Images for FrackNation)

The fracking controversy

Yahoo News

New York governor Andrew Cuomo's administration said on Wednesday it will ban hydraulic fracturing in the state after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas production process poses health risks.

New York Environmental Commissioner Joseph Martens said Wednesday he will issue an order early next year, extending a six-year-old halt to fracking in the state.

Martens made his comments after the state's Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker, said there is not enough scientific information to conclude that fracking, which involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a well to extract oil or gas, is safe.

"The potential risks are too great, in fact not even fully known, and relying on the limited data presently available would be negligent on my part," Zucker said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, answering questions from journalists, said the decision on whether to allow this kind of drilling in New York was up to Martens.

The ruling ends what has been a heated debate in New York over the benefits and pitfalls of fracking. Many in the state saw gas drilling as a key economic resource while others argued it was too dangerous. New York sits atop a part of the Marcellus shale, one of the largest gas deposits in the United States. (REUTERS)

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