by Long Island Attorney Paul A. Lauto, Esq
Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) is spreading across many states in our country like wild fire. This rapid growth is fueled by greed, under the veil of being the salvation for our country’s energy problems. Fortunately in New York, as a result of a public outcry, Governor Cuomo has indefinately stayed the use of fracking pending the results of full evaluations by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Health (DOH).
The ongoing evaluations by the DEC and the DOH started in 2008 and 2012 respectively, without any imposition of a completion deadline. Many in New York suspect that Governor Cuomo is intentionally delaying the review process until after he completes his election bid for a second term as Governor this November. Fracking opponents in New York believe that no news is good news, while fracking proponents have lost their patience and have now resorted to litigation to get their way.
The Joint Landowner’s Coalition of New York (JLCNY) has sued Governor Andrew Cuomo and others, to compel resolution of the fracking evaluations so that fracking may commence in New York without any further delay. This litigious move by this pro fracking coalition, is effectively subscribing to the belief that we should let the health and safety of New Yorkers be damned and close out the evaluations (complete or not) so that the money making fracking train may start rolling.
This court action should come as no surprise, as fracking companies will seemingly stop at nothing to secure their profits. This was evidenced and detailed in our November 13, 2013 blog entitled, “Fracking Company Sues Homeowner With Flammable Water For Alleged Defamation” (See www.liattorney.com/scales-of-justice.html). Although many New Yorkers would like to know where Governor Cuomo stands on this issue prior to casting their votes this November, his basis for abstention pending the outcome of the DEC and DOH evaluations is ironclad.
Andrew Cuomo has become a formidable politician who to date, has succeeded in getting most everything he wants as Governor. If Governor Cuomo sides against the fracking industry, New York will become a battleground as we bare witness to a true “Clash of the Titans.” If this comes to pass, hopefully the residents of New York will not become collateral damage.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.