Sen. Liz Krueger sprung to the defense of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his handling of the review of hydraulic fracturing today after he was criticized in a Bloomberg article by a member of the pro-fracking Joint Landowners Coalition.
Coalition member Brian Conroy said in the story published by The Syracuse Post-Standard:
Weâ€™ve given him a long leash and now it does look like politics is coming into playâ€¦Either thereâ€™s incompetence, where they just canâ€™t handle a complex technical study like this, or the potential of cowardice, where he isnâ€™t being decisive and is floundering with decisions.
Cuomo recently said that the state would conduct a health review of fracking before it moves towards regulating it. Krueger responded in a statement:
The idea that the Joint Landowners Coalition has Governor Cuomo â€on a leashâ€™ is offensive to all New Yorkers."
The governor has made the right choice not to rush into any decision on fracking before we have answers to the significant questions that remain. While I have serious concerns about the lack of clarity and public involvement throughout this process, it is critical that the debate be based on the merits of fracking as public policy.
The governor has a responsibility to all New Yorkers to take an informed course of action. It is unfortunate that instead of engaging in a substantive way by considering who will be responsible for insuring against potential property damage, the true impacts of fracking on public health, and how to meaningfully engage the public, this lobby group is throwing around words like 'cowardice' and 'incompetence' and acting as if they have authority to dictate to the duly-elected governor of our state.
I continue to urge deliberate action by the governor, and strongly encourage the administration to take a more open approach to this process. I understand there is a sense of frustrationâ€”I assure Mr. Conover, he is not alone. But the governor's and the legislature's highest obligation and shared responsibility is to ensure this remains a debate about public safety and what path is best for New Yorkâ€™s future.
Sen. Liz Krueger at an anti-fracking event with Mark Ruffalo.