Newsworthy Newman

jen newmanTo frack or not to frack, that is the never-ending question.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not approved or disapproved the environmental impact of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, a controversial drilling technique that has been used to extract natural gas with the use of pressurized water mixed with chemicals.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website, they received more than 13,000 public comments on the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) issued in September 2009. It was revised again in September 2011. The public comment period on the draft ended in January 2012.

For those of you just tuning in, this is 2014, more than two years later. You may ask, what’s the hold up? That is a fantastic question.

New York’s environmental commissioner said he won’t issue regulations to allow fracking for natural gas until at least April 2015, meaning Cuomo probably won’t decide on the issue until after he faces re-election, according to a January Bloomberg Sustainability article.

Is Cuomo putting off a decision on fracking, avoiding controversy running for president or re-election for governor? Maybe. Probably.

But even President Barack Obama is on the frack train, hiding behind the lure of independence from foreign oil and keywords like “natural gas” instead of “fracking.”

The possible risks in the SGEIS range from chemical emissions to pollutants in water. Taking the time to thoroughly examine the risks of fracking is not what bothers me, I’m all for it. What bothers me is that we do not know the health and environmental impacts, but this huge issue seems to just be a political tool. Come on.

No matter which way the decision falls, the health of New Yorkers should not be used for political gain. Period.