Cuomo Inches Closer to Fracking in NY, Supports “Home Rule”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo inched closer to endorsing fracking in the state in an interview on New York Public Radio yesterday. This is what he said:

“I think it’s inarguable that one should take into consideration home rule, and if you have communities that have an expressed desire to proceed, I think that should be taken into consideration if you decide to go down this road at all,” Cuomo said. “Obviously, if a community says that they oppose it, that should be taken into consideration.”

Albany “sources” (i.e. the governor’s office) have been leaking like a sieve for months on this topic, so his statement is no surprise. And frankly, it’s not anything new or even noteworthy, except that it indicates a slight (ever so slight) movement in the direction of allowing fracking in the state. If you’re talking about home rule and where fracking will and won’t happen, it kind of connotes that it will happen in at least some places.

On the matter of so-called “home rule” or allowing municipalities to outright ban fracking, Joe Martens, Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said the same thing almost word for word, months ago (see this MDN story).

Cuomo continues to hedge his bets on the issue in general, saying it’s not yet a done deal:

Cuomo, a first-term Democrat, stressed that no final decisions have been made when it comes to whether allow hydrofracking at all.

“I know (DEC is) working very hard, but I want them to do it on a professional timetable and not a political timetable,” Cuomo said.*

The DEC is working hard eh? Answering 70,000 form letters? That should have been “answered” months ago? Right. Give me a break.

*Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun Bulletin (Jul 9, 2012) – Cuomo hints at support for fracking home rule