There will be a dark cloud hanging over the Phish Super Ball IX festival in the Finger Lakes this weekend, and not just of smoke: The band was planning to promote the work of a coalition against allowing hydraulic fracking in New York State, which would particularly affect the natural-gas-rich surrounding area. But the New York Times reports today that, despite a lawsuit filed earlier this month by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the state will rescind its ban on the controversial practice, which frees gas by injecting liquid at very high pressure into the rocks where the deposits lie. Critics worry about the environmental impact, especially if the chemicals involved in the process get into the drinking water. There will surely be more discussion of that in the months to come, along with a whole lot of fracking terrible puns. [NYT/Twitter]
Update: The full Times story clarifies that if the Cuomo administration does lift the ban, as it seems poised to do, there will still be no fracking allowed within the New York City and Syracuse watersheds.