Having your natural gas in New York, and banning its production too

Two news items from yesterday, about the same governor, in the same state, occurring on the same day.

In the first story, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he still isn’t ready to make a decision on lifting the state’s moratorium on fracking. The link here is from The New York Times, whose algorithms helpfully direct you to other stories about Cuomo still not being ready to issue a decision on fracking in the state. Some of them date back to last year.

And while it isn’t in The New York Times, you can find several instances on the web of another story from yesterday in which Gov. Cuomo went upstate to Dunkirk, and announced that a coal-fired power plant there would not be shutting. No, it will instead be converted to generate electricity from…natural gas.

One year from today, Cuomo’s presumed re-election will be behind him. It is now entirely reasonable to assume that a decision on fracking in New York will await that event.

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What we don’t know is whether the governor will be like his counterpart across the Vermont border, Peter Shumlin, who is promoting more natural gas use while banning fracking. Or maybe Mr. Cuomo will realize that there is an issue with logical consistency if you’re going to ban fracking while championing conversion of coal-fired plants to use natural gas–which is essentially what he did on Monday–and concurrently trying to boost the economic prospects of beaten-down upstate New York primarily through the construction of new casinos rather than a thriving E&P sector.

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  1. John Kingston at December 18, 2013 10:14 am

    While I understand the appeal of such a move, the fact is that would be state regulation of interstate commerce and is clearly unconstitutional.

  2. Craig at December 18, 2013 9:55 am

    I say for States that ban fracturing there should be a import tariff for all gas coming production States that allow it.


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