New York state's tortuous, interminable process of deciding whether or not to approve fracking continues; it slowly lifts one foot out of molasses, considers it for an hour or two, and then places it down again with a squelch one centimeter in front of the other foot. The last microstep we reported on was actually a step backward, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) moved to restart the state's analysis of fracking's health effects.
But now a real step: New York has hired a geologist to conduct a study of the seismological repercussions of fracking. As you may recall, drilling into shale and breaking it apart with high-pressure water has been linked to earthquakes. So the state is looking into that, since the very last thing New York wants is to be any more like California. The man hired for the job, to ensure that New York doesn't crumble into the sea if it allows fracking? A guy who used to work for fracking companies.
Robert Jacobi was picked by the Department of Environmental Conservation for a seismology study as part of its environmental review of the drilling process known as fracking, Lisa King, an agency spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. Jacobi is a University at Buffalo professor and has advised drillers for two decades. …
Jacobi, who has taught at the state university for more than 30 years, has advised various gas drillers since 1994, according to a resume released by the university. He has been a senior geology adviser for Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp., a natural gas drilling company, since last year.