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Frack, Andrew, frack

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NEW YORK POST Last Updated: 10:43 PM, September 15, 2012 Posted: September 16, 2012 Editorial

Gov. Cuomo wasn’t exactly letting a dark secret out of the bag last week when he said New York can’t expect to see hydrofracking begin anytime soon.

But it’s discouraging that the governor seems to be in no particular hurry to get the process moving.

Cuomo said last Monday that he won’t set a deadline for the Department of Environmental Conservation to finish its years-long study of the controversial process of natural-gas extraction.

“When it’s done, and when they’re prepared, then we’ll announce the decision” of whether to approve fracking, he said.

And even that won’t be the end of it, added the governor, because any decision will inevitably lead to “a series of legal challenges and political challenges.”

In other words, “It’s going to be an ongoing situation for a long, long time.”

Great.

Maybe Cuomo was just being candid, but there’s a fine line between predicting long delays and encouraging them — and the governor is perilously close to crossing it.

If he hasn’t already.

And make no mistake: Delay — and lots of it — is precisely what the opponents of fracking are counting on.

Fact is, DEC’s is hardly the only study ever done of fracking, in which gas is extracted by fracturing shale with a high-pressure mixture of water and chemicals.

That fracking is safe has been shown time after time — which is why New York is the only state where it isn’t now allowed as a matter of routine.

To no scientifically demonstrable ill-effect whatsoever.

Delaying this survey for much longer strongly suggests an attempt to foot-drag the project to death.

Alas, New York — and particularly the economically depressed upstate region — needs the fracking jobs, economic development and tax revenues that have been a boon to neighboring states, like Pennsylvania.

As a spokesman for the gas industry noted, this is rapidly shaping up as “not just a missed opportunity” but “a risk of losing a whole industry.”

And that’s something New York simply can’t afford.

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