My guess is that the DEC will in fact publish a notice on February 13th that it intends to shovel the SGEIS out the door, ready or not. The reason is simple: they have hired attorneys to prepare for litigation, so rather than make the effort to “let the science” decide, take input from local officials, or hold a public hearing – as required by law – they are going to simply push the mess out as-is and let the courts decide. They will continue to hunker down, play Rope-A-Dope, and start the clock on litigation. Let the courts decide. Which gives the Governor the perfect alibi. “My hands are tied.” Just they way he wants them.
He can then be philosophical on fracking as he woos big donors for 2016: “The judge made me do it.” Good luck with that Andy. Rope-a-Dope worked for Muhammed Ali – but left him a cripple. Because what comes out at trial is a Division of Mineral Resources shot-through with corruption. Plus some other surprises, courtesy of DEC insiders, both former and current. . .
Color me cynical, but bureaucratic intransigence has been the hallmark of the DEC’s behavior in all this fracking business – right from the outset, when they pretended to “lose” the 1997 draft regulations. Because they had more protections than the “final” 2012 version they proposed – after 4 years of pretending. They then went into the bunker when it was time to defend the 2012 proposed regulations to the Assembly committees – while covering up the fracking “health study” that the DOH now denies is even a study. Why should we expect a better result ?
All these are the tell-tale end-game strategies of an agency that expects to be sued. That’s now so obvious that even the fracking pygmies, NY IOGA, are threatening to sue them – as if to not miss out. Not to be outdone, frackette Lenape Resources has taken a poke at the DEC without even specifying what for as part of that firm’s on-going publicity stunt. Why be left out ?
So, if only to start the clock in court, Fracking Czar Joe Martens, at the advice of his in-house counsel, is going to shovel the fracking mess he has made of this process out the side door, then lock the door and run down into the bunker.
Would not miss an opportunity between now and February 13th to point that out to the Governor. We know what you’re up to. We know you’re looking to punt to the courts. We know that “Let the science decide” was never really the plan. Nor “Let the legislature decide.” It always was: “We’re going to throw some frack waste on the wall and see what will stick.” In court.