Wendy Long pushing for hydrofracking
Hydrofracking remains as a hot topic across New York State. The controversial gas drilling method is sure to be a talking point at a number of debates, including in the U.S. Senate race between Kirsten Gillibrand and Wendy Long. Long wants to see New York move forward with hydrofracking as a way to create new jobs. As Capital Tonight's Mike Whittemore reports, she's accusing Gillibrand of interfering with the process.
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NEW YORK STATE -- With the end date for a hydrofracking decision pushed to 2013 or beyond, many environmentalists and natural gas industry advocates see the governor as stalling on the issue. However, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long sees it a different way: A way to attack her opponent, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Long said, "My opponent has done everything possible to kill jobs in this state and keep this economy in the mud."
Like many Republicans, Long sees the natural gas extraction process as a way to stimulate the upstate economy and bring thousands of jobs to struggling cities. However, in this case, she's aligning herself with two high-profile Democrats to make her case: President Obama, who, in his convention speech, touted the potential of natural gas, and Governor Cuomo. Long believes the governor wants to move forward with hydrofracking in New York, but is being held back by members of his own party including Senator Gillibrand.
“I think the governor should and would move faster if he had a little bit of help and a little bit of support instead of being attacked when he goes down to Charlotte at the Democratic National Convention,” Long said. “We see ads being taken out in the newspaper to press him. I think he’s in a lonely place and its Kirsten Gillibrand and her allies who are making it a lonely place.”
Governor Cuomo has not publically made his position known on whether he prefers to see high-volume hydrofracking move forward, repeatedly asking for patience as a thorough environmental impact study is conducted by the Department of Environmental Conservation. That report was expected to be released by the end of the year, but a health study component will push it back even further.
Cuomo said, “I think legal challenges are likely and I think this will be a better review. Our lawyers say it will be a more defensible review in the event we are challenged.”
A spokesperson for Senator Gillibrand echoed Governor Cuomo's concerns for a thorough study, saying in a statement, "I'm not going to comment on the baseless conspiracy theories of a struggling campaign. As the Senator has said many times before, while the Marcellus Shale represents a tremendous economic opportunity for New York, it cannot come at the expense of clean air and safe drinking water for all New Yorkers. Before any drilling moves forward, she believes we must have strong controls and safeguards in place coupled with full transparency."