- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) - A new coalition of labor groups, farmers, landowners and businesses from New York counties along the Pennsylvania border is calling on state officials to lift the nearly 6-year-old moratorium on shale gas development.

Binghamton attorney Scott Kurkoski says Monday that the coalition called Southern Tier Residents for Economic Independence favors well-regulated, responsible development of natural gas resources.

The coalition is similar in makeup to the now-defunct Clean Growth Now, formed several years ago for the same purpose.

Kurkoski says the group will give a voice to residents of the Southern Tier who favor gas drilling and serve as a counterpoint to opposition groups that he says are based outside the Marcellus Shale gas region.

He says the coalition believes natural gas drilling offers an economic lifeline in a depressed region.

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