Here’s an update on when New York will decide whether to allow fracking: No one knows when New York will decide whether to allow fracking. The New York Times:
A few months after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was poised to approve hydraulic fracturing in several struggling New York counties, his administration is reversing course and starting the regulatory process over, garnering praise from environmental groups and stirring anger among industry executives and upstate landowners.
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.
To whom does the Times give the credit? Hippies and Hollywood!
The developments have created a sense in Albany that Mr. Cuomo is consigning fracking to oblivion. The governor has been influenced by the unshakable opposition from a corps of environmentalists and celebrity activists who are concerned about the safety of the water supply. The opponents include a number of people close to the governor, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a longtime environmental activist in New York whose sister is the governor’s ex-wife.
Proponents of fracking are — wait for it! — disappointed in the governor’s decision. The Times quotes some of them, but it’s nothing new.
In articulating his decision, Cuomo failed to mention the movie-star phonies.
“We’ve said all along that the decision will be made based on the science, right?” [the governor] 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.”
Kennedy has a different theory.
“Andrew has a very good political antenna, and we’ve never seen anything like this in terms of grass-roots power,” Mr. Kennedy, whose father was a United States attorney general, said in a telephone interview. “In 30 years, I have not seen anything come close to this, in terms of the mobilization of the grass roots. You’ve got 20,000 people in the state who consider themselves to be anti-frack activists. So I think that’s got to impact the political process all around.”
(“Whose father was a United States attorney general?” This is how we acknowledge RFK now? Not even “a senator from New York”?)
The question is: Did those 20,000 people make the difference? After all, Cuomo isn’t killing fracking, just delaying it. From the man who championed same-sex marriage, this is awfully timid.
Cuomo is also a man with an eye toward higher office. With his popularity recently measured in the range of 70 percent, he’s likely not eager to dive deep into a complex, controversial topic. With 20,000 people asking him to take action, he responded: Move fracking to the back burner, lower the heat, and watch the D.C.-area want ads.