Mayor Bloomberg may hate soda, but does he love fracking? Yesterday, Hizzoner co-wrote an op-ed piece with fracking engineer George Mitchell for the Washington Post lauding the benefits of hydraulic fracturing when done "safely" and "sensibly."
They argued that fracking would reduce energy costs, help the economy grow, cut down on coal dependence and increase renewable energy, so long as we "establish an appropriate framework for regulatory safeguards." And Bloomberg didn't just lend his words to the fight for safe fracking—he also donated a $6 million grant through Bloomberg Philanthropies to the Environmental Defense Fund to help create those regulations in states like Colorado and Ohio, which rely on hydro-fracking for 85 percent of their gas reserves.
Bloomberg's pro-fracking Post piece was published a few days after Governor Cuomo announced he had no real timetable when it came to making a decision about when or where he would allow hydro-fracking in New York State, further prolonging the frack fight since the state placed a moratorium on fracking back in 2008. While Bloomberg's love of "safe" fracking calls for full chemical disclosure and a low environmental impact on ecosystems, groundwater and roads, anti-fracking advocates, aren't too thrilled. "He speaks for himself, not the upstate New Yorkers who would be most directly and most immediately affected by fracking," Wenonah Hauter, the executive director of enviro-group Food and Water Watch, told the Times.
And since Bloomberg already got the state to ban fracking in the city's Catskill-based watershed, upstate New Yorkers find his new frack-happy stance particularly polarizing. "His water is protected," Matthew T. Ryan, the mayor of Binghampton, NY told the Times. "Ours isn't." Well, at least that's good news for you, Yoko Ono!