The story in Capital New York today that the Cuomo administration watered down a federal study it had commissioned on fracking to downplay environmental and health concerns is deeply disturbing on many levels.
It has been clear for a long time that Governor Cuomo was not being truthful when he told New Yorkers that he was awaiting the results of the State Health Department before he made his decision on fracking. Cuomo invariably puts his own political calculations and needs ahead of the facts or the well-being of the state's residents.
While Cuomo has held off on giving the green light to the use of fracking for natural gas, his administration has pushed forward the construction of the infrastructure that supports fracking. He has permitted fracking cuttings and fluids from Pennsylvania to be disposed of in New York, something even pro-fracking Astorino signed a law to prohibit in his own Westchester County.
The national Democratic Party leadership has been heavily promoting fracking. Andrew Cuomo and these oil-money soaked politicians cannot be trusted to protect the health of New Yorkers and our environment.
If Cuomo was going to ban fracking, he would have done it by now. I have long called for a ban on fracking for natural gas not only because of the significant public health, water and environmental impacts but because developing natural gas worsens the problem of climate change.
New York needs to halt any new investment in fossil fuels and related infrastructure. Instead we need to immediately begin building a 100% clean, renewable energy system in our state to be completed by 2030. Clean energy is also the path to full employment and affordable power. A study by Stanford and Cornell professors shows that a 15-year a transition to 100% clean renewables would create 4.5 million new jobs and cut electric power rates in half.
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