(AP) – Key statements and moments in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s thinking about the natural gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking:
_ May 2011: Orders an expanded environmental review of fracking after an accident in Pennsylvania caused a well to gush salty, chemically tainted water for two days.
_ Sept. 24, 2011: In an online chat, repeats what has become his standard position: “My point all along is to make the decision on hydrofracking based on the facts and on the science. This is not an issue to be decided by politics or emotion. DEC’s process is fair, intelligent and open and I am letting the process proceed.”
_ June 2012: After a New York Times report that he plans to allow limited drilling in the area near the Pennsylvania border, Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto says: “No final decision has been made and no decision will be made until the scientific review is complete and we have all the facts.”
_ October 2012: Orders a public health study, further slowing the regulatory process. “There is no step back,” Cuomo says. “I think it will be a more thorough review and it will be a stronger review to withstand a legal challenge. … Our lawyers say it will be more defensible in the event we’re challenged.”
_ Nov. 27, 2012: Administration says it needs another 90 days to complete environmental review.
_ Jan. 9: Makes no mention of fracking in annual State of the State address.
_ Early February: Is close to allowing drilling at 10 to 40 wells for a limited time in the southern New York communities that welcome the process. But after conversations with environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cuomo’s former brother-in-law, he decides to wait until after the results of a nationwide health study. Preliminary results of that study may not be ready for months, and final results could take years.
Source: AP reporting
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