Governor Cuomo has delivered both his State of the State and Budget Address with no mention of shale gas development. His silence potentially speaks volumes on the state’s plans to issue drilling permits this year. The Governor has continually stated that he will allow “facts and science” to determine activity on shale development. The fact is, shale gas has been developed safely and successfully for many years in Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. And surprisingly, without the need for celebrity intervention.
What is more telling is a statement the Governor made prior to last year’s budget address. He said that “You would not be hiring staff to regulate hydro fracking unless you believed you were going ahead with hydro fracking. So the budget won’t anticipate hydro fracking approval.” Deja vu all over again.
Much has been made of a recent Siena College poll stating that opposition to fracking has grown. The poll states that the results came from respondents in “parts of Upstate.” I wonder how much of this includes parts of the Southern Tier, where shale gas development will result in new job creation, supply-chain opportunities for small business, potential new revenues for schools and non-profits and increased economic activity.
As the deadline to finalize regulations on shale gas development nears, the silence is deafening. It’s time to move New York forward.