NY Gov. Cuomo announces intent to ban fracking

Upstate New York, burdened by high taxes and a decaying industrial base more than a century old, will get no share of the boom enjoyed by neighboring Pennsylvania, courtesy of the oil and gas-rich Marcellus Shale deposits. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, smarting from the support a primary challenger enjoyed while promising to ban fracking, announced yesterday that he will instruct his subordinates to ban hydraulic fracturing.

The move came during a Cabinet-level meeting in Albany, the state capital, in which Gov. Andrew Cuomo's environmental commissioner, Joe Martens, recommended a ban. (snip)

Martens said the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation will put out a final impact study early next year that will suggest a ban on fracking, more formally known as high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Martens said he would follow the report with an order prohibiting the process.

Despite intense efforts to discover actual negative health effects from fracking, none has been found. Oh, there’s that movie Gasland showing flames being lighted from a water faucet, but that was exposed as a fraud, since the natural gas in the water pipes predated fracking.  But Cuomo is demanding proof of absolute safety, an almos impossible standard that is applied to almost nothing. Thomas Kaplan in the New York Times:

In a presentation at the cabinet meeting, the acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said the examination had found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking.

Holding up copies of scientific studies to animate his arguments, Dr. Zucker listed concerns about water contamination and air pollution, and said there was insufficient scientific evidence to affirm the safety of fracking.

Dr. Zucker said his review boiled down to a simple question: Would he want his family to live in a community where fracking was taking place?

His answer was no.

“We cannot afford to make a mistake,” he said. “The potential risks are too great. In fact, they are not even fully known.”

Well, I would not want my family to live next to a New York Times printing plant, or, to choose a darling of the left, a commuter rail line. There are risks involved in them, after all, and we don’t want to make a mistake, now, do we?  Shall we ban them?

Cuomo is weaseling out of responsibility:

At the cabinet meeting, he conspicuously stumbled on the name of the panel that made the casino recommendations, as if to signal his lack of involvement in its work. And he kept some distance from the fracking decision, saying he was deferring to his health and environmental conservation commissioners.

“I am not a scientist,” he said. “I’m not an environmental expert. I’m not a health expert. I’m a lawyer. I’m not a doctor. I’m not an environmentalist. I’m not a scientist. So let’s bring the emotion down, and let’s ask the qualified experts what their opinion is.”

Upstate New York has been sacrificed to the wealthy environmentalists who mosfly live downstate in and around New York City.