New York State

UPDATE 3-U.S. judge blocks New York credit card surcharge law

Kennedy Jr. calls natural gas a catastrophe As an environmental activist, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is one of the nations most vocal opponents of coal, but he thinks natural gas is just as bad. Speaking to a crowded auditorium today at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Kennedy says its a false choice to weigh economic concerns against environmental protection. Although his […] May 24, 2013 New York Governor Says Hell Make Fracking Decision Before 2014 Election The Syracuse Post-Standard reports New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will make a decision on whether to lift the states moratorium on fracking before the 2014 election. Its not clear how much that statement means, though, since the debate in New York has gone on for nearly five years. In 2011, the head of […] March 18, 2013 Celebrity Anti-Fracking Group May Be in Trouble for Failing to Register as Lobbyists An influential group of celebrity anti-fracking advocates, known as Artists Against Fracking, may be running afoul of New York State law, according to the AP: Artists Against Fracking opposes hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and boasts members including Yoko Ono and actors Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon. The group says forcing water and chemicals deep into […] March 4, 2013 New Yorks Fracking Decision May Hinge on Results of Geisinger Health Study New Yorks decision on whether or not to allow hydrofracking may hinge on the results of a new health study by the Danville-based Geisinger Health System. The Associated Press reports New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, put off making a decision last month, partly on the advice of his former brother-in-law and environmental advocate […] December 3, 2012 Marylands Marcellus Shale Commission Begins To Set Fracking Guidelines While New York hit another snag in its attempt to draft hydraulic fracturing regulations, the panel tasked with creating Marylands fracking policy is moving forward. The Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission held an initial vote last week. The Cumberland Times-News reports the panel decided: A minimum amount should be established for a […] November 21, 2012 New York Fracking Review Will Creep Into 2013 Another deadline, another delay, as New York State continues and continues to mull draft regulations allowing hydraulic fracturing within its borders. The Empire State implemented an effective moratorium on natural gas drilling during the Paterson Administration. As long as the state Department of Environmental Conservation delays issuing its guidelines, the moratorium continues. The […] August 29, 2012 Wall Street Journal Maps Local Fracking Bans As Pennsylvanias state Supreme Court sorts out whether or not local governments have the right to zone natural gas drilling, the Wall Street Journal maps out municipal hydraulic fracturing bans in the Empire State.

Five retailers including a hair salon, an ice cream store and a martial arts studio had challenged the constitutionality of the law, which was enacted after the U.S. Congress in 1984 allowed a federal law prohibiting surcharges to lapse. The decision could call into question the status of similar laws in nine U.S. states. Those states include the four most populous – California, Florida, New York and Texas – as well as Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts and Oklahoma. “This is a big victory, not just for consumers and merchants in New York but across the country,” Deepak Gupta, a partner at Gupta Beck in Washington, D.C. representing the plaintiffs, said in an interview. “The card industry wants to perpetuate the myth that using a credit card is free, or priceless. But the cost is baked into the price of all the goods and services we buy.” IMPACT ON OTHER LAWS Authorities including New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes argued that the state law protected shoppers by enabling them to rely on advertised prices, rather than be surprised at checkout with surcharges. “We are reviewing the decision and considering our next step,” Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman, said. The offices of Vance and Hynes had no immediate comment.