The anti-hydrofracking group Elected Officials to Protect New York held a news conference at the capitol on Wednesday arguing that the potential costs of dealing with a natural gas boom could be seen as an unfunded mandate on localities.

The group, which is composed of 612 elected officials, wrote to Governor Andrew Cuomo to say that they fear the possibility of opening 40 test wells would open the door to lawsuits by drillers against localities that haven't allowed the practice.

While several people at the Wednesday news conference expressed environmental concerns, others cited dollars-and-cents worries.

Many of the group's issues overlapped with those recently raised by the state association of counties, which said it wants better estimates about how hydrofracking might affect local finances. Gas drillers, however, have said that opening new wells would increase property values, with higher tax revenues resulting.