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Cuomo bans fracking in New York

Protesters demand a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial technique Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Fracking is a no go in New York State after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that his administration would oppose the gas drilling technique.

"I get very few people who say to me, ‘I love the idea of fracking,'" Cuomo said at a year-end public cabinet meeting.

Members of his administration unveiled a long-awaited and long-delayed report on fracking, in which they alert Cuomo to red flags and health risks while concluding that they lacked enough information to support the process.

"Would I live in a community with [fracking] based on the facts that I have now?” asked acting Department of Health commissioner Howard Zucker. “Would I let my child play in a school field nearby? After looking at the plethora of reports behind me ... my answer is no.”

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Now that the report has been released after two years of delays, the state plans to formally ban fracking early next year based on Zucker’s report, although the state instituted a moratorium in 2008.

Cuomo’s critics blasted the decision, with state GOP chairman Ed Cox calling the study a “political charade” and accused Cuomo of giving into “radical environmental Luddites in his own party.”

New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of individuals and groups who pressured the administration to ban hydraulic fracturing, applauded the report’s findings and Cuomo’s announcement.

“The toxic drilling process would threaten our health, poison our water and air, and forever mar New York as hundreds of health professionals and medical organizations have told us,” member Julia Walsh said in a statement. “This decision will affect New York for generations to come."

 
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