Environment | Opinion

Editorial: New York governor makes right decision to ban fracking

A fracking operation in North Dakota. Photo by Joshua Doubek / Wikipedia

The New York Times praises Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for instituting an official ban on fracking in New York:
In making what amounted to his first major decision since his re-election last month, Mr. Cuomo embraced the conclusion of state health officials that important health issues remain unresolved and that it was impossible to declare that hydraulic fracturing is safe for the environment or human health.

Acting health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, told a meeting of the governor’s cabinet that “the science isn’t there” to say definitively whether hydraulic fracturing is safe or not. But judging from the overall weight of evidence, Dr. Zucker advised against going forward. “Would I live in a community with (hydraulic fracturing) based on the facts that I have now?” he said at one point. “Would I let my child play in a school field nearby?” After looking at the questions raised in numerous reports, he said, “my answer is no.” Mr. Cuomo found Mr. Zucker’s personal response particularly impressive.

Hydraulic fracturing involves blasting water, sand and chemicals into underground rock formations to unlock the gas. The technique has been around for many years and has been used, mostly without incident, in hundreds of thousands of natural gas wells. But the risks of water and air pollution have multiplied as the wells are drilled deeper and stretched vertically and horizontally to get at remote deposits.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Gov. Cuomo Makes Sense on Fracking (The New York Times 12/18)

Also Today:
Citing Health Risks, Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State (The New York Times 12/18)
State 1st in U.S. to ban fracking (The Albany Times-Union 12/18)
No lift for Cuomo in drill decision (The Albany Times-Union 12/18)

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