No Forecast For A Decision on Fracking In New York

30109-cuomo-103p.photoblog600As Tom Petty said , “the waiting is the hardest part.”   After years of delays and, as some opine, indecision, New York is still studying whether and how to permit hydraulic fracturing.

To remind our readers, there have been many times over the past five years when New York was expected to formally announce whether or not to permit hydraulic fracturing and, to the extent permitted, how it would be regulated.   Anti-fracking groups led by celebrities have vocally opposed any fracking under any circumstances.

Months ago, Governor Cuomo delayed a decision another time.  His administration justified the delay due to a health study being performed by the New York Health Department.  Indeed, in February of 2013, New York Health Commissioner Nirav Shah indicated that the review would be done within “weeks.”

Today, Dr. Shah told reporters that there is “no timetable” for a decision.  He did say, notably, that New York representatives have made progress, including a meeting with the EPA and Marcellus Institute, which is based in shale-rich Pennsylvania.

Not surprisingly, both sides of the debate appear unhappy with the on-going study and the delay.  On the one hand, environmentalists question the independence of the health study.  On the other hand, the industry points to successes in various other states and to recent environmental impact studies from those states which have undermined many of the concerns being advanced by the environmentalists.

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