A year ago Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators were taking sizable donations from the natural gas lobby while continuing to stall any final decision on whether high-volume hydraulic fracturing should be allowed in the state. But it appears that the only thing millions of dollars in gas lobbying has bought thus far is time: yesterday the governor's office announced that the decision on fracking, due this month, would again be delayed. State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah told the Times that his agency's report on the issue isn't quite ready. “Science, not emotion, will determine the outcome,” Dr. Shah said, as his trousers ignited like a glass of tainted water.
The additions Dr. Shah says are necessary to add to the report will significantly delay the decision. Another 45-day public comment period is set to begin, and the regulation process will kick in again from the beginning. "Dr. Shah’s decision today to get all the facts before giving the green light to fracking in New York State is in the best traditions of preventive medicine," said Kate Sinding, the senior attorney and deputy director for the New York program of the National Resources Defense Council.
Two public health experts say that they were asked to comment on the finished report weeks ago. "At New York State Department of Health’s request, I provided pro bono review of their Health Impact Assessment almost two months ago,” John Adgate, a professor at the Colorado School of Public Health told Politics on the Hudson, echoing similar comments made by UCLA professor Richard Jackson.
Jackson wrote an email to a physician's group urging them to oppose fracking:
Many of the stories I hear, especially from Pennsylvania and Colorado, are appalling. The enormous waste of natural gas through flaring, for example in Texas and the Dakotas, puts a lie to the assertion that this is natural gas extraction—in many places fracking is done for the ‘distillate’ and the natural gas is turned immediately into CO2 pollution and dumped into the atmosphere.
Whatever. Let's see what Donald Trump thinks:
NY should frack now. What’s the hold up? Is Albany opposed to creating jobs and making gas cheaper for middle class?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2013