Cuomo: No Decision Yet On Hydrofracking

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today that there’s no new time schedule on when the state Department of Environmental Conservation would finish its review of hydrofracking — which the agency has been reviewing for nearly four years without resolution.

“I have had no recent updates one way or the other in terms of time,” Cuomo said today on Fred Dicker’s radio show.

An Associated Press story today suggested that Cuomo dogged the hard questions on hydrofracking and other issues during a live online chat in September.

In response, Cuomo said, “I think it’s a silly point.”

Cuomo said his office received hundreds of questions during the hourlong chat, including hundreds from people on hydrofracking.

“I answered the hydrofracking question the same way I’ve answered it 100 times before,” Cuomo said. “We’re in the middle of the process. There’s nothing new. DEC is doing the review.”

Cuomo said, though, he was surprised by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s comments in Albany on Wednesday that he supports hydrofracking so long as its out of the city’s watershed.

“I was surprised by Mayor Bloomberg’s support, which I hadn’t heard,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo reiterated that he doesn’t want the DEC to make a political decision on fracking: “I want them making a decision on the facts. And that’s what they are doing.”

When asked by Dicker about the potential benefits of fracking, Cuomo said, “Natural gas is a great resource. It helps this country. It helps the economy in many different ways. I don’t think the question is should we develop natural gas. The question is the protections, and how, and the regulations. And that’s what DEC is working through.”

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