In what surely is the most revealing moment of the press conference, if not his increasingly shortening political career, Governor Cuomo took the opportunity to publicly advise the gas industry on how to reposition their public relations to “win the hearts and minds” of the populace. You know, the way the Governor has done on the issue of fracking. By “telling them how safe it is.” At least for people that live in Mt. Kisco. And nowhere near a municipal wastewater treatment plant or road that’s been coated in frackwaste.
The fracking spin doctors have their work cut out for them – Upstate New Yorkers are increasingly unenthused by the prospect of having their wells poisoned, their kids gassed, or their cars run off the road by frack truck convoys. Thanks, but no thanks. The shale shills have been bouncing around Upstate for 5 years now, and thus far, the response has been that over 200 towns have decided that relying on the DEC to protect them may not be such a hot idea.
Remarkably, the Governor has used almost every cliche in the book when it comes to fracking, this latest one being “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” (Cool Hand Luke) Which follows on the heels of his describing local grass roots fractavists as “outside agitators.” (The Graduate).
Here are some of the latest bits of fracking wisdom, courtesy of Jon “How do you spell Pulitzer ?” Campbell:
“I think the landowners’ consultants and the lobbyists for the pro-fracking groups would be better advised to spend their time actually getting out information to allay the fears of the people of this state than worrying about hallway chatter, (in Albany)” Cuomo said. “Their job is to communicate to the people of the state, to say that this is a safe process, to be open and available. And that’s what they should be doing.”
The fracking lobbyist job is to communicate with the people of New York ? Really ? Isn’t that sort of the Governor’s job description ? Speak for yourself, Andy. (The Courtship of Miles Standish).
Which lobbyists ? Frackin’ Tom West, who never met a Home Rule case he couldn’t lose ? Or maybe he’s referring to Dennis Holbrook, who works for a Bankrupt Frack Zombie Rent-A-Plaintiff. Or it could be the JLCNY’s Shale Shyster who is suing the State of New York. Or the NYG IOGA, who are threatening to sue the State of New York over the fracking regs.
Which fracking lobbyists did the Govenor have in mind ?
The lobbyist have evidently served up all the Kool Aide they can in Albany. So the Governor advises them to take that Kool Aide out into the hustings. Maybe run some more Gas Blonde Ads on TV. As if that’s what this is all about – which audience to target for more fracking propaganda. Not surprisingly this bit of fracking advice came at the same press conference that Cuomo again mumbled about “letting the science decide.”
In an interview with Gannett’s Albany Bureau, Cuomo reiterated his position that an ultimate decision on whether to allow large-scale fracking in New York will be based on “facts and science.”
What fracking science ? Where has the DEC cited any scientific papers in its proposed regulations ? You can talk about the science. Or you can show us the fracking science. Which seques into the next act: Dr. Nirva “In a Few Weeks” Shah, who on cue said he would have all the health studies – that we still have no fracking clue about – wrapped up, in you guessed it, “in a few weeks.”
The governor’s comments came following a meeting of his cabinet Monday, where state Health Commissioner Nirav Shah said the department’s review of fracking’s potential impacts should be completed in “the next few weeks.” Shah had also signaled in February that his review would be forthcoming in weeks.
Does this confuse you, Bunky ? Cheer up. Help is on the way. Cuomo’s lawyers are going to push this misbegotten mess out the door one day – without a severance tax, with a mishmash of rules and regulations, without any autonomous environmental oversight – right into the meat grinder of litigation. On every fracking permit the DEC tries to foist off on an unsuspecting public. This is not about a failure to communicate. This is about Governor Cuomo being tone deaf on fracking.