LIVINGSTON COUNTY — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that they will issue a ban on all hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” practices by the natural gas industry in New York State, sparking a new wave of controversy in an already rocky public discussion.
This is the latest in the long-standing controversy between Western New Yorkers both in and out of politics who wholeheartedly support or oppose fracking practices, including Congressman Chris Collins, representing Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties and parts of Erie, Monroe, Niagara, and Ontario counties.
“Governor Cuomo has just denied the people of New York a tremendous economic opportunity in order to appease far left environmentalists for his own political gain,” said Congressman Collins. “The Governor continues to hide behind Albany bureaucrats and controversial scientific studies to stand against hardworking New Yorkers who deserve the job opportunities and economic growth fracking has clearly produced in other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania.”
However, many local community members have expressed great satisfaction with the Governor’s administration on this issue, including Frack Free Genesee, an organization which spearheads public resistance to fracking in the county.
“This has come after timeless effort by numerous individuals who have come together to fight this,” said Jake Castor, an active supporter of Frack Free Genesee. “The oil and gas industry is just so powerful, it is really great to be heard on this.”
According to news partner 13WHAM, governor Cuomo’s administration has citied unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits in support of their decision.
Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens says the Department of Environmental Conservation will put out a final environmental impact statement early next year, and after that he’ll issue an order prohibiting fracking.
PHOTO CAPTION: Screenshot from news partner 13WHAM.