I mentioned here yesterday that Pennsylvanians are enjoying a surge of prosperity while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo kowtows to cheap-energy-hating environmentalists who are making their last stand again natural gas. Cuomo keeps hiding behind “safety reviews,” missing several deadlines for a decision and calling for additional investigation.
Today the New York Times reports that Cuomo has been sitting on a state Health Department assessment that concluded months ago that fracking to produce natural gas is safe. The report was leaked to the Times by someone inside the state bureaucracy who is likely outraged by the governor’s political cowardice over the matter. The Times’ language is revealing:
The state’s Health Department found in an analysis it prepared early last year that the much-debated drilling technology known as hydrofracking could be conducted safely in New York, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times from an expert who did not believe it should be kept secret.
The analysis and other health assessments have been closely guarded by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his administration [meaning Cuomo has suppressed the report because of its inconvenient truth] as the governor weighs whether to approve fracking. Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, has long delayed making a decision, unnerved in part by strident opposition on his party’s left. A plan to allow a limited amount of fracking in the state’s Southern Tier along the Pennsylvania border is still seen as the most likely outcome, should the drilling process receive final approval.
As a friend remarked to me today, “For years how to revive the economy of rural New York has been a top-of-the-agenda item for politicians. Now that something comes along that could do it, they say, ‘Well, maybe not. . .’”