NY Gov. Cuomo Signals Fracking Issue is “How” and Not “If”

Finally some good news for New York landowners who want shale gas drilling to go forward in the state. Lately, it’s seemed as if New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was backing off his support for shale gas drilling. He elected to not even mention it in this year’s State of the State address, even though there was a section about it in his prepared remarks (see this MDN story). Then he made a comment about the status of the review process and making on determination on whether drilling will even be allowed (see this MDN story). And then a comment to a Syracuse newspaper editorial board about a decision coming “in a few months” on fracking (see this MDN story), the implied meaning was whether or not it would be allowed at all.

Add it all up and it certainly appeared that Gov. Cuomo was stepping back from his earlier support of drilling. But Andrew Cuomo is the consummate politician and perhaps that was all smokescreen. Last Friday, in a radio interview, he all but said fracking will go forward in the state, it’s just a matter of how and when it will happen, not if.

“I don’t think the question was, ‘Should we develop natural gas?’ ” Cuomo said on Albany’s Talk 1300 AM radio yesterday. “The question is the protections, and how, and the regulations, and that’s what DEC [the Department of Environmental Conservation] is working through.”

Environmental groups that oppose drilling into upstate’s Marcellus Shale with a high-pressure chemical-and-water mix reacted warily.

“If he is saying they have already prejudged the decision and they are just figuring out the fine points, Riverkeeper will be very disappointed, and I’m sure other groups will as well,” said program director Kate Hudson. “We are hopeful that what he means is . . . they are still working on collecting facts.”

Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto said no fracking determinations have been made and “we are still doing the analysis.”

But Cuomo yesterday called natural gas “a great resource. It helps this country. It helps the economy in many different ways.”*

*New York Post (Mar 3, 2012) – Gov hits gas on drilling plan

  • Anonymous

    He’s got no choice, he knows gas will hit over $5.00 per gallon. When you get hit in the face with that type of news, then its really time to play politics. Cuomo is a chess player, he only reacts when he has to. Make no mistake this is another political move, not because he truly wants it only because he has no other viable options. I’ll take it any way I can, now all you Anti’s start wasting your energy somewhere else,Its time for NY to make a come back this is the first step. Yipeeeeee!!

  • Anonymous

    What does the price of gasoline have to do with fracking? If they do drill for natural gas in NY, most of it will get shipped out of state & sold to the highest bidder.. probably places like China.  It does nothing to keep energy prices lower in the US, it does nothing to minimize our reliance on foreign energy. The #1 export of the US right now is gasoline.. going to the highest bidders. And the profits will go to billionaires who control the multinational corporations that want to drill. If you’re sitting on a gas lease hoping to get rich, dream on.

  • Europe has been paying over $10 a gallon for many years. The extra tax cuts down on waste, gas hogs, relieves traffic congestion and pays for trains, busses and infrastructure. They also get in many cases free education, nationalhealth care and affordable housing, unlike here in the US. The gas & oil companies are rolling in dough, have lavish subsidies and tax exemptions. Time to stop being ruled by the fossil fuelers. Cuomo is as huge a disappointment as Obama. They are pawns of the corporations and the 1%. 

  • Anonymous

     Great question George!! The price of gasoline reflects our complete reliance on ” foreign Oil”. When Iran burps, gas goes up. The Greek economy may go belly up Gas goes up. Etc. The issue is our government is being bought by OPEC lobbyists. We have in this Country enough NG and Oil to sustain us for many decades without the use of any OPEC or Chavez( Venezuela) oil. So, your question should have been, Why is our Government not opening up the United States for NG and Oil exploration? Why are we dragging our feet on switching our vehicles, homes and municipalities over to NG? Like most of the uneducated Anti/liberals the wrong questions are being asked. If your fine with the way thing are in this country, then you have your answers. As for me, I could give a rats ass about Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and all those other third world radicals that control what I pay at the pump. What are we over there fighting for anyway?Our boys are losing their lives for zero!! Remember them, George? My solution, pull all our troops out, let them fight their religious wars for themselves, doesn’t effect me in any way, especially if we wont be needing their Oil anymore. Concentrate on ” Our” Country, open the exploration markets, keep the resource here. Then watch our economic machine work. Millions of Jobs and need for thousands of services. The ” Big” companies will make billions whether we buy it here or they sell it over there. We have to make it advantages that those companies want to do business here, right? Then everyone should be taxed accordingly, and the machine is off and running again. That’s the real answer. Whats going on in Washington is a crying shame. Politicians are not working for the people these days, they work the deals. They get theirs first then think of all of us last.That’s why this Country is still in the dumps. I don’t know about you, but this past 6 years has been the toughest I have ever seen in America ( I’m 52). I was in Residential construction, and lost just about everything I worked for to greedy Wall Street and Banks back in 2007.The energy boom can be like the next Microsoft or Cell phone craze. It will get many people back to work, especially in my profession, We can, if our Government decides to make the easy call, become energy independent, and get away from the OPEC strangle. Lastly, George, I’m not sitting on a lease, but my American dream is still alive and well, and I hope and pray that many people out there, that are about to lose their land prosper from this wonderful find and spread their wealth among us.My Children and Grandchildren are depending on it.

  • Anonymous

     Dave, pull you head out of your a–, really $10.00. this country can not run with gas prices that high,you and I know that. The economy will shut down , due to the middle and lower classes unable to afford to just get to work .Unfortunately OPEC gas prices dictate how we live our daily lives. When you need to fill your gas tank up, and can’t afford to take your wife out for a dinner, that pisses me off. How about you? If you feel you can live a better life over there, why not move? But answer me this question, Why are there so many foreigners risking their lives to come here? Why do most foreign countries hate our guts?  Because they want what you have, the American dream,some are even willing to die for what you take for granted. The world you describe in your statement is as close to communism as possible.  The last I looked this is still a free democracy , and I personally would like to keep it that way. Do we need many reforms ? Absolutely. What we don’t need is more Government interference in our daily lives, making decisions on whats best for me and my family. It is our Government that has put this Country in this position, they need to get out of the way and let America’s entrepreneurs do what they do best, make money, not squander it.  Dave, tell me your cost effective, non invasive way, to produce enough energy to fuel this country needs without the use of ” Fossil” fuels? Don’t give me the Solar and/or Windmill story either, they can’t produce enough juice, without the landscape being totally taken over, and have been found for the most part to be ineffective and inefficient. Cant wait for your reply.