Residents wonder if politics has taken over Fracking
9/11/2012 (Updated 6:55:57 PM)CHENANGO FORKS -- Victor Furman owns five acres of land in Chenango Forks, and the mineral rights to 50 others. He's frustrated that there has been no decision on fracking regulations from the state.
"It's no longer about how long it's been. It's about these unecessary delays," said Furman.
He thinks it's a way to keep the issue on the table for November's elections.
"I think it is political. I hate to say it but my thoughts are that we have three Democrats in this area alone that are running solely on the ticket with an anti-fracking platform," said Furman.
Furman is referring to: Broome County Executive candidate Tarik Abdelazim, whose campaign denied any coordination with the Governor's office. State Senate candidate John Orzel, who actually opposes a moratorium that delays fracking and is in favor of regulated drilling. And Congressional candidate Dan Lamb, whose campaign released the following statement - "The election calendar is irrelevant to this issue. Dan believes fracking should not move forward...There are far too many critical issues related to shale gas drilling that have not been addressed."
The state's Department of Environmental Conservation said today it's "review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing is continuing and no decisions have been made."
"There's no question that the decision to allow fracking or to not allow fracking has a huge political component," said Walter Hang, President of Toxics Targeting.
Hang has been critical of the DEC's Supplemental Generic Impact Statement, or S-GEIS. It's the document that will determine fracking regulations.
"It does not require the gas drilling wastewater to be managed properly and that's why I'm entirely dubious," said Hang.
Governor Cuomo said yesterday he was not set a deadline on a fracking decision, whether it be November's election or the end of the year. Cuomo also said no matter his decision, he expects lawsuits to follow.
"If no legal action is taken to withhold the issuance of permits, they could begin pretty soon," said Hang.
"I think if the lawsuits come it's going to be the job of Eric Schneiderman, our Attorney General, to defend the state's document. And I think definitely the state's document will be an easy thing for him to do," said Furman.
In Chenango Forks, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News.
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