With the death of fracking, can renewables fill New York’s energy gap?

It began with an irresistible promise backed by millions in cash.

After paying Southern Tier farmers $110 million for mineral rights to their land, prospectors from XTO Energy drove large stakes into fallow fields and woodlots to mark where they expected to harvest billions of dollars in natural gas.

Extending under this 50,000-acre leasehold in Broome and Delaware counties was the northern tip of the Marcellus Shale — the largest natural gas reserve in the country. With advances in fracking technology, prospectors finally had the necessary tools for extraction.

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