Maybe forever. Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo is using environmental investigation and regulation to put at least a temporary halt on what appears to be an environmental killing machine, one that operates no less mercilessly in the neighboring states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Ten days ago, after nearly four years of review by state regulators, the governor bowed to entreaties from environmentalists to conduct another study, this one an examination of potential impacts on public health. Neither the governor nor other state officials have given any indication of how long the study might take.
Then on Friday, state environmental officials said they would restart the regulatory rule-making process, requiring them to repeat a number of formal steps, including holding a public hearing, and almost certainly pushing a decision into next year.
The move also means that after already receiving nearly 80,000 public comments, the state Department of Environmental Conservation will be soliciting more input from New Yorkers about hydrofracking, or fracking, as the drilling process for natural gas is known.
The developments have created a sense in Albany that Mr. Cuomo is consigning fracking to oblivion. ...NYT
And he may well have. But the future of fracking, at least in that section of Marcellus shale, depends not so much on the support (widespread) for stopping fracking but, as the governor points out, on the environmental hazards inherent in allowing it to continue.
“We’ve said all along that the decision will be made based on the science, right?” he said. “It was not predetermined, it was not a political position, let’s get the facts, let’s make a decision on the facts. I understand the emotion, I deal with the emotion every day on both sides of the issue, right? So we get the emotion, we get the rhetoric, we get the hyperbole. Let’s get some facts and data and some science, and we’ll make the decision on the science, which is what should be done here.” ...NYT