Dr. Nirav Shah, who has served as Commissioner of Health in the Cuomo Administration since 2011, announced this week that he will resign next month.

We’re still waiting for the Department of Health to complete it health impact review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing – which he said in January 2013 would be done “in a few weeks.”

The reality is that New York has effectively banned fracking since 2008.  We know that the state’s natural gas resources can be developed safely.  As we learned this winter, we need more natural gas supply to lower home heating costs and become energy independent.  So what are we waiting for?

When a reporter asked him about the current status of the review last week, Dr. Shah said “It’s a work in progress.”  So is the Southern Tier economy.  Unfortunately, the Southern Tier economy is heading in the wrong direction.  And sadly Dr. Shah’s legacy will be that he partnered with the State of New York to deny economic independence for the people of the Sourthern Tier.