Newspaper Editorials Slam Cuomo’s “Bad Science”

Following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement this week to ban responsible natural gas development in New York, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, small and large businesses, manufacturers, elected officials and nationwide media outlets are all questioning the “bad science” at the core of this highly-politicized decision, calling it a “sad day for the future of the economy” regionally.

Yet despite this misguided and politically motivated ban, New York enjoys huge and direct benefits tied to American natural gas, especially enhanced air quality, lower energy costs for consumers and strengthened energy security.

Here are key takeaways from newspaper editorials:


WALL STREET JOURNAL
“The truth is that fracking has been taking place around the country for many years
without evidence of environmental harm. 
Even the federal EPA, which desperately wants to find it,
has uncovered no credible evidence that fracking causes groundwater contamination.”

WASHINGTON TIMES
“The EPA discounts the effect of fracking on groundwater, and fracking has been used safely in
extracting oil and gas from the rock beneath the surface of the land for more than 60 years.”

NY DAILY NEWS
“[Acting NY State Health Commissioner Howard] Zucker on Wednesday
acknowledged there is no conclusive research that fracking is harmful.”

DENVER POST
“Energy is critical to civilization, so Gov. Andrew Cuomo
banned a major technology vital to its production.”

NEW YORK POST
“Twice since 2009 the Department of Environmental Conservation has been prepared to
allow fracking, with safeguards, in New York. What stopped them was political intervention.”


More here from these editorials on this week’s “disastrous” decision:

  • Cuomo “Hides behind Bad Science”: The natural gas shale boom has been a blessing for much of America in these otherwise difficult times. … During his recent re-election campaign, Mr. Cuomo hinted to business supporters that he would end the fracking moratorium the state has had in place since 2008. … Their “Public Health Review” arrived this week, and it reads as if it were ghost-written by the Sierra Club, and maybe it was. … The truth is that fracking has been taking place around the country for many years without evidence of environmental harm. Even the federal EPA, which desperately wants to find it, has uncovered no credible evidence that fracking causes groundwater contamination. The most definitive study, published in a September issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found eight cases of gas polluting 133 drinking water wells in Texas and Pennsylvania, none of which were caused by fracking. … Economic growth sure can be a nuisance. The fracking boom in other states has led to overbooked hotels, restaurants where you can’t get a table, and the quandary of how to spend disposable income from rapidly rising wages. … Cuomo’s ban will no doubt also please Gazprom, the Russian gas company which also wants the West to stop drilling for gas so it can continue to use its supplies to hold political sway over Europe. (Wall Street Journal editorial, 12/18/14)
  • Andrew Cuomo “Sentences NY to Economic Stagnation”: New York just gave Vladimir Putin and the Middle Eastern energy sheikhs an early Christmas present. … So much for the Empire State’s boastful claim that “New York is open for business.”  … The U.SEPA discounts the effect of fracking on groundwater, and fracking has been used safely in extracting oil and gas from the rock beneath the surface of the land for more than 60 years. Opposition to fracking has been driven by environmental extremists whose utopian dream of a world powered by sunlight and gentle breezes animates their fear and loathing of fossil fuels. … New York, whose business climate is ranked by the Tax Foundation as second to last in the nation, could look to the fracking example of neighboring Pennsylvania, where energy companies have contributed more than $2.1 billion in state and local taxes since fracking began, and over the past four years have added more than 15,000 jobs with average annual salaries of $93,000. (Washington Times editorial, 12/18/14)
  • “Junk Science Led to Cuomo’s Fracking Ban”: Politics, not science, drove Gov. Cuomo to ban natural-gas fracking from New York, killing upstate’s most promising hope for economic development. The governor cast acting Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker as the voice of expert wisdom — whose research moved him to declare that he would not want his child to live in a community where fracking was taking place. Really? Zucker’s office admitted when pressed by the Daily News that the good doctor is both single and childless, making his avoid-at-all-costs proclamation as fact-free as the research he cited to help Cuomo reach the desired outcome. … Fracking has one proven effect. It creates jobs, a commodity desperately needed upstate. (NY Daily News editorial, 12/19/14)
  • “Anything but Fracking in New York State”: In New York state, the economic development formula is apparently as follows: No to hydraulic fracturing, yes to casino gambling. Energy is critical to civilization, so Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned a major technology vital to its production. And on the same day this week, a state panel “backed plans for three new Las Vegas-style casinos,” according to The New York Times. There is nothing quite like a Las Vegas-style casino to elevate the tone of society. Cuomo’s stated reason for banning fracking involved health concerns, although state regulators exist in order to minimize such risks. In this case, though, they weren’t interested in trying. (Denver Post editorial, 12/18/14)
  • “Cuomo to the Southern Tier: Drop Dead!: Bowing to green activists and the Hollywood crowd, Cuomo on Wednesday made New York the only one of 35 states with significant natural-gas deposits to ban fracking. Then he tried to wash his hands of it, saying he was deferring to his health and environmental commissioners. … Twice since 2009 the Department of Environmental Conservation has been prepared to allow fracking, with safeguards, in New York. What stopped them was political intervention — first, by Gov. David Paterson, and then by Gov. Cuomo — who each restarted the approval process from scratch. In any case, the health and environmental concerns Cuomo cites fly in the face of findings from multiple other studies, including one by the Obama Department of Energy. The governor’s fracking decision came the same day that siting locations for three new upstate casinos were announced. The irony is that while the economic case for fracking is strong, the one for gambling is weak. … Gov. Cuomo discussed what New York can do to grow jobs in struggling parts of this state. But his answer — double down on iffy casinos while banning a safe and proven new energy technology — will mean a most un-Merry Christmas upstate. (New York Post editorial, 12/17/14)