Appalachian Basin

Former NYC Mayor: NY Fracking Ban is “Misguided”

This week, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State. The former mayor called the decision, “a misguided policy” and said the governor should instead be touting the benefits of natural gas.

According to Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg:

“The economic and health benefits of natural gas… outweigh the potential health impacts, which could be prevented with tough regulation.”

Even more interesting is that Bloomberg offered this huge rebuke at a Sierra Club event in front of the very folks whose main goal was to achieve this ban.  In fact, when Bloomberg was asked if he’d be donating to the Sierra Clubs anti-natural gas campaign, Beyond Gas, his answer was “no.”

Essentially, Bloomberg in one fell swoop destroyed every claim the Sierra Club has made on fracking.  As we’ve noted before, New York City has the cleanest air in 50 years, thanks to the increase use of natural gas in the Empire State. New Jersey also recently touted cleaner air because of its increased use of natural gas from neighboring states like Pennsylvania.

Natural gas use has also helped the U.S. get a handle on CO2 emissions, where they are now hovering around a 20-year low. A quick look at their draft 2014 energy plan shows that despite a ban on hydraulic fracturing, New York will continue to utilize imported natural gas for the next 20 years, increasing year over year, which makes the ban on fracking seem even more ridiculous.

By the way, NYC’s former mayor isn’t alone in his disapproval of the fracking ban. Here are just a few of the many examples of folks who don’t agree:

I don’t want to do what New York did. I want to do what I think we can do here in Pennsylvania and that is have this industry, but do it right from an environmental point of view, from a health point of view.” – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D)

Far from identifying any concrete harm that properly regulated drilling would cause to health or the environment, the [New York Health] report mostly catalogued hypothetical perils that have yet to be credibly documented by research.… Fracking has one proven effect. It creates jobs, a commodity desperately needed upstate.” – New York Daily News

“Apparently, the state health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker believes ‘We lack the necessary data.’ This is a copout used all too often … and is especially odd given the increasing number of studies that have supported fracking if well regulated.” – Michael Lynch, Forbes

“True enough, Cuomo’s not a scientist — if he were, or even knew any, he would know that the propaganda about ‘health effects’ is not borne out by the evidence. And if he’s not ‘an environmentalist,’ his pusillanimous kowtowing to that camp makes him an honorary blue-ribbon member of the anti-science, anti-progress crowd.” – American Council on Science and Health

“Cuomo’s decision is a disaster for the environment where it counts most – on climate change.” – N.J. Star-Ledger editorial board member Tom Moran

“[A]ll of the Governor’s men couldn’t find conclusive evidence that fracking presents a significant risk to public health or the environment. So they’re going to ban fracking until they do. The truth is that fracking has been taking place around the country for many years without evidence of environmental harm. Even the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which desperately wants to find it, has uncovered no credible evidence that fracking causes groundwater contamination.” – Wall Street Journal

“Anyone who cares about the economic viability of New York State should be troubled by these two decisions. It is fracking — despite risks — that has the potential to boost struggling communities, by providing well-paying, middle-class jobs. Casinos, meanwhile, are a road to nowhere. The Cuomo administration got it exactly backward.” – Joe Nocera, New York Times

Former Mayor Bloomberg’s comments underscore the numerous positive economic and environmental benefits of hydraulic fracturing, while offering a huge rebuke to Governor Cuomo anti-fracking groups like Sierra Club who were clearly involved in the “science” behind the ban in New York.


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