Cuomo: Fracking’s economic benefits ‘inarguable’; wineries opposed

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The economic and energy benefits of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas are “inarguable,” but whether they outweigh the potential environmental detriments is still an open question, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

In a radio interview, Cuomo was asked about President Barack Obama’s support of shale-gas drilling ahead of Obama’s upcoming trip to upstate New York. Obama is scheduled to make three stops in the state this week, including one in Binghamton, which sits above the gas-rich Marcellus Shale.

Cuomo said fracking has “obvious economic benefits.” But he stopped well short of endorsing the controversial technique, which has yet to be allowed in New York as the state continues an environmental review that has stretched on for more than five years.

“Every area that has participated in fracking will tell you that it’s increased commercial activity and it has an economic boost effect,” Cuomo said on “The Capitol Pressroom,” a public-radio program. “The question is: Is there a cost to the environment, et cetera? And that’s what has to be assessed and that’s what has to be weighed and that’s what we’re going through now.”

He continued: “The president’s point that fracking has economic benefits, energy benefits for this country — that’s inarguable.”

Obama’s tour stops on Friday will showcase both sides of the contentious fracking issue. Binghamton is viewed by many as the epicenter of the New York debate. Later, he’ll head to Scranton, Penn., which lies within the most-active portion of the Marcellus in Pennsylvania, where drilling has been underway since 2007.

Cuomo said he received plenty of input on shale-gas drilling from Finger Lakes winemakers last week, when he toured wine country before awarding the “Governor’s Cup” in Watkins Glen to the top New York state wine.

“They’re all against fracking and they make that point,” Cuomo said.

(AP file photo / Mike Groll)

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  1. Who is he, King Cuomo, to decide the property rights of landowners in the southern tier. This was the basis behind the American Revolution, to separate ourselves from a king who took control of our lives. The founding of our Country was based on free property rights.

    Drilling and HVHF are being performed safely in 29 other states. Upstate will remember this takings of property rights come November 2014

  2. It’s also convenient to surround yourself with winery owners who are taking the no-drilling stance. I wounder where they get their electricity and gas to cook the juice.

    There would be no drilling in the Finger lakes area anyway, the shale is too shallow in that region. But lets not mix up facts with fiction, NOT!

  3. The only good money to be made by fracking is that which will be made by the multi nationals who hold most of the leases and who avoid both taxes and paying royalties. Those of us live on the Marcellus Shale will pay through the nose in local taxes to beef up and fix the infrastructure the frackers abuse, through lost home values, through our health damaged by air and water pollution, and to clean up when the bust comes.

  4. Any productive well will generate the ad valorum production tax, which is a property tax assessed on the value of the production. The Town of Windsor had a 6% reduction in its property tax last year due to a gas pipeline and compressor station built to run gas from PA to the Millennium Pipeline. This was the only town in NY that had a reduction in January 2013. Do not believe the anti-frackers!

  5. Ask anyone who lives in an area being fracked and I guarantee the vast majority completely oppose the practice. Those who are still in favor are the few who are actuallymaking money from letting their land and water and air-and that of their neighbors’- be destroyed by fracking. The so called economic benefits to the communities are far outweighed by the damage- permanent, by the way- to the environment, the infrastructure, the health of the living things of all species that live in the area being fracked. Get educated, fellow commenters.
    Safe hydrofracking is an oxymoron.

  6. Just travel down to Pennsylvania and, bless my heart, it’s no richer or better off than it used to be. In fact, in places it’s a whole lot worse. People can’t get mortgages or home insurance, they can’t drink the water on their own property, and they have health worries that authorities can’t address. Nope, I don’t think there are even economic benefits to be had–except maybe to a few rich landowners and the Chinese.

  7. HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller on

    Wow!. . . “The economic and energy benefits of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas are “inarguable,” but whether they outweigh the potential environmental detriments is still an open question, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

    I never ever thought that I will live to the day where ” the Fraudist” ( I am just borrowing the Phrase from recently late 20th Century Chancellor of ( then West Germany)!

    Its ( fort me a very hard concept ) what the NY State Governor is implied on The Radio Ssex Show!. . . ( Joke ! )
    What’s very difficult to comprehend is when ” someone comes from variously world slums . . . ( and not particularly to offence but only. For academic reasoning Many ( areas as ashown in MilMillions of American Dollars Cashed in ” the name of entertainment by casting and box office showings of a similar Movie called Slum Dog!. . . . There are many areas where a ” majority of people grow up right next to the gutter water swimming and drinking it too. . . and are as healthy as an ox!

    Seriously! But, as soon as in America this ” environmental concerned ” begins at 55 Miles Zones on American Highways etc.,! No offense! But, what I really really fail to understand is how does this ” double life standards ” functions and get ” OH! You are saying this Because I am HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller” politically correct ” threatening and ridicule starts !. . .

    And, each time I see anyone claiming ” Environment ” and as Reported in Our National Newspapers ” that halted or halts and obstacles our Armed Forces Training Exercises on Our Own Soil! . . . . in the name of environmental concerned. . . Actually, look like an ” entertainment to me!

    Where is the National Interest and Common Sense ? Is Environment is a function or dysfunction to weaken The United States from within? Why are we cutting 9000 US Marines? And, people are concerned with biased drilling issue! Where is the Focus of America and Its Leadership?

  8. PA is fine, I know a few in Laurel Lake and Quaker Lake, there is a well overlooking Quaker lake. Just new houses, new barns, new cars, water is fine, no dead cows, no petulance. Seems the water in NY is poisoned, especially the water that certain Vestal residents drink.

  9. Sue, ed12309 is right. I heard a presentation by a banker from Bradford County PA who said that initially when drilling came to the county they were concerned, but after studying the leases that landowners were signing, they are fully on board. Also, I believe that at least Chemung Canal Trust is willing to write mortgages on property with leases. And guess what? It’s a free market out there; if some don’t others will step in to fill the void! If you google home prices in Bradford County, you will find that values DOUBLED between 2007 and 2011, so the lie about property values declining is disproven as well. In fact, the banker told us that many of th eyoung people are forced to move to NY to afford a house, our prices are so depressed. As to your other concerns, can you point to actual reports from a government agency that confirms widespread health concerns?