New York energy Luddites to confront Obama on bus tour

Fuel Fix:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo will avoid a potentially dicey political conflict by not accompanying President Barack Obama to parts of upstate New York roiled over the state’s ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

Obama supports the technology as an economic windfall that helps make the country more energy independent. He’s expected to find supporters as well as protesters from environmental groups when he visits Syracuse and Binghamton late this week. Parts of central New York and the Southern Tier are on the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation, where energy companies want to drill with the promise of a boom to the long economically distressed area.

Obama’s two-day bus tour will begin Thursday and hit the University at Buffalo, followed by stops in Syracuse, Binghamton and northeastern Pennsylvania. Cuomo said Monday he will meet Obama when the president flies into Buffalo but won’t appear in Syracuse or Binghamton.

The governor has postponed a decision on whether to allow fracking, a method of extracting oil and gas from deep underground by pumping huge amounts of water, sand and chemicals at high pressures to break up rock formations. Cuomo says he’s waiting for a study by Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah, which the Cuomo administration has, since February, promised was just weeks away.

Oil industry: Obama administration’s fracturing rule carries hefty price

The New Yorkers Against Fracking group plans demonstrations in Buffalo and Syracuse, with its largest show of opposition in Binghamton.
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“Every area that has participated in fracking will say it has increased commercial activity and it has an economic boost,” Cuomo said. “The question is, is there a cost to the environment, to health, et cetera. That’s what has to be assessed and that’s what has to be weighed and that’s what we’re doing.”
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I think the environmental concerns are a bogus ploy to delay drilling, that have been brought in a bad faith attempt.  Cuomo is well aware of the economic benefits from fracking wells but he does not have the political courage to stand up to the anti energy left in New York.  Obama seems eager to take credit for the shale oil and gas boom, while his department of the interior works to thwart it on federal sites.  But on areas he does not control he is all for it.

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