The various factions of anti-hydrofracking activists have repeatedly proven their organizing skills, turning out big crowds to protest Gov. Andrew Cuomo at his State of the State address, the New York State Fair and various appearances across New York.
But they weren’t there today, when Cuomo traveled to the heart of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale to attend a meeting on flood recovery at Binghamton University. The reason? The 10 a.m. meeting wasn’t officially announced by Cuomo’s office until around 7:15 a.m. this morning.
It’s not the first time Cuomo has abruptly announced an appearance at a place fracking critics would be likely to attend.
Last month, after anti-fracking groups had publicly announced plans to trail Cuomo at the opening of the New York State Fair, Cuomo said he wouldn’t be attending because he was spending time with his twin daughters before they left for their freshman year of college. But when the day came, Cuomo’s office hastily announced he would be making an appearance after all, less than an hour before he was expected to arrive and after the activists had cancelled their planned protest.
The same day, Cuomo did not attend President Barack Obama’s town hall discussion at Binghamton University, though he had attended Obama’s speech at the University at Buffalo earlier in the day.
Alex Beauchamp, Northeast region director for Food & Water Watch and a member of coalition group New Yorkers Against Fracking, said fracking opponents are on to Cuomo’s game.
“Guess we know how the Cuomo Administration wants to limit anti-fracking crowds at his events – by only giving a few hours notice,” Beauchamp said in a statement. “First the State Fair, now Binghamton. Governor Cuomo needs to face New Yorkers and the science on fracking, which overwhelmingly dictate no fracking.”