Gov. Cuomo said last week that the state’s decision on regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing – a process that will enable the Southern Tier to begin to develop its huge natural gas reserves – will not happen until next year. Unfortunately, this is just another in a long line of delays that have kept New Yorkers from realizing the jobs and tax revenues that are the benefits of responsible natural gas drilling.

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been doing an environmental impact study and drafting new regulations for high-volume hydraulic fracturing since 2008.  We recognize the importance of making sure the right rules are in place to protect people and the environment, but we are beginning to lose patience with the state and its regulators.

While almost every other state in the nation has allowed extraction through this process – in some cases for years – New York has put natural gas development on hold as opponents have raised every imaginable argument about how natural gas development will mean the end of life as we know it.

This issue is a good example of why Unshackle Upstate exists, and why we need to raise our voices.  A few loud opinions from New York City shouldn’t be able to prevent those of us who have chosen to live Upstate from using our land as we see fit, especially when we need the work and tax revenue it will bring.

We continue to urge Gov. Cuomo and the DEC to end this endless review and do what they need to do to begin issuing permits for natural gas development in the Southern Tier.  How many more young people will Upstate have to lose?  How many more landowners will have to give up their land?  Our neighbors in Pennsylvania and Ohio have figured out how to do this safely.  Why can’t New York? If we embrace natural gas development, we will not only be unlocking a source of inexpensive energy, but it could lead to growth in our industrial and manufacturing sectors.

Note to Gov. Cuomo – it’s time for New York State to move forward on this.