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Attacking Fracking
New York Brings Hammer Down on Fracking

Governor Andrew Cuomo is instituting a de facto ban on fracking in New York state. His Administration just announced the position during a cabinet meeting in Albany, the New York Times reports:

The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

“I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York,” said Howard Zucker, the acting commissioner of health.

As is the case in the production of any energy source, fracking entails risks. It also brings with it enormous economic benefits, both in terms of job creation and in measurable contributions to GDP—not to mention the depressive effect a newly abundant supply of natural gas can have on heating bills. In Cuomo’s estimation, those risks outweighed the benefits. Elsewhere in the country (and from where we’re sitting), that calculus looks remarkably different. And shortsighted.

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  • michaelj68

    Once again NYC politicians give the middle finger to Upstate NY. Cuomo lost NY outside the NYC metro area in the recent Nov gubernatorial election. Upstate NY needs to succeed as NYC controls the entire state.

  • Fat_Man

    The rest of the United states should impose an oil embargo on New York (and California for that matter), until they agree to absorb some of the environmental damage that the rest of the country incurs to keep New York going.

    • Thom Burnett

      I’m with Gene.

      If the environmental damage exceeds the benefits then New York and California will have proven fracking to be impractical.
      If fracking is a boon to economies then North Dakota and whoever else allows this will benefit and gain prosperity compared to New York. Again, we’ve all learned from the example.
      I’m betting that the benefits far outweigh the costs but New York could be right.

      This requires that the environmental damage and other costs stay mostly in the state. In terms of global warming – NYS could be causing damage to North Dakota with their anti-fracking policies but I’m willing to take that chance.

  • Gene

    As a committed believer in federalism, if NY wants to forego the benefits of fracking they are welcome to do so. After all, we need both good examples to emulate and conspicuous failures from which to learn.

    • Fat_Man

      It would be easier to accept if New York had the political and economic clout of Rhode Island.

      • Gene

        If NY had the clout of Rhode Island this story would be small potatoes. We need a state big enough, and in the spotlight enough, to put its failure on the front page.

  • Corlyss

    “Andrew Cuomo’s Administration just formally came out against fracking, apparently swayed by green concerns.”
    Only hastens the day when NY voters kick out the Democrats.

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