By Scott Waldman 3:52 p.m. | Oct. 8, 2014 1
ALBANY—Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said he was not sure why his administration helped shape a federal study on water quality in the Southern Tier.
On Monday, Capital reported that officials from the Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority weighed in on a federal water quality study that is a necessary first step to prepare for fracking. State officials have claimed that their frequent communications with the U.S. Geological Survey were a normal back-and-forth between federal and state agencies.
But in emails obtained by Capital, federal officials occasionally bristled at the editing and the delays from the state, and some fracking risks were downplayed in the final version of the report, compared to the original draft.
Asked why state officials delayed and edited the fracking study on Wednesday, Cuomo said, “I don’t know.” He did not elaborate.
When pressed as to whether the state’s involvement in the report was an indication his administration is preparing to allow fracking in the five Southern Tier counties, which have the deepest shale deposits in the state, the governor repeated his commitment to waiting for a state health department study, which has dragged on for years and currently has no timeline for completion.
The state has had a moratorium on fracking for six years.
“Literally on a weekly basis, you can get academics and reports saying it’s totally safe and then the next week you get a report saying it’s the most dangerous thing since a nuclear explosion,” Cuomo said. “You know, that’s one of the challenges. It’s become a very highly politicized, highly emotional, highly opinionated topic and I am relying on substantive experts in my administration who don’t bring any bias to work through it and give me their best advice, which I will follow. I’m not a scientist. I’m not going through the data and the research myself, but they are.”
Actually no Governor. Gas industry propaganda from fracademics is not “science.” None of the “science” supports the safety of fracking.