“The casinos went down, fracking went down — come on; this place is dead in the water now,” said Pat Shea, 64, a retired parks employee drinking coffee in a McDonald’s on a day when the weather outside seemed to mirror the local mood: cold, blustery, and sunless. “This whole area was thumbed at, snubbed, like it was nothing.” […]From one end of Binghamton to another, and up and down the economic ladder, residents voiced their disbelief…At the white-napkin Binghamton Club, Frederick Russell, a 60-year-old financial adviser with a Monopoly Man mustache, said he was amazed by how far the region had fallen.
The Rust Belt is a region desperate for some kind of good economic news, and in many places the shale boom is one potential solution. Cuomo’s Administration cited health and environmental concerns when it announced it would be banning fracking in New York state, though a leaked version of a state review of the controversial drilling process gave it a clean bill of health. Moreover, as drillers refine the techniques needed to extract oil and gas from shale, they’re figuring out how to do so in a safer, more efficient manner.Governor Cuomo, apparently swayed by the green crusade against one of the biggest energy booms in recent American history, is erring on the side of caution on fracking. That’s cold comfort for many of his constituents outside of New York City, who are facing hard economic realities daily.