Cuomo: No On Nukes, Yes On Fracking

New York is emerging from the mono-mania that accompanies state budget debates, and other controversies will now get their fair share of attention.  The first out of the box is state energy policy, otherwise known as fracking and nuclear power.  

Fracking is the high-tech extraction of natural gas from underground rock formations.  There's been lots of controversy about its impact on drinking water, shucking and jiving by fracking corporations, and the actual amount of energy that could be produced.  Nuclear power is the change in public attitudes towards the dangers of nuclear plants in a post-Fukishima world. They just converged in Albany.

Cuomo has a record of concern about nuclear plants, notably the highly controversial Indian Point plant on the Hudson 35 miles noth of NYC.  It's badly built, badly run, pollutes the Hudson terribly, and has been receiving secret "exemptions" from important NRC safety requirements for decades. Cuomo worked with me in a lawsuit to stop these safety abuses while he was New York's Attorney General.  Last week Cuomo dropped the hammer on Entergy, Indian Point's owner, telling them he wants to close the plant.

At the same time New York, along with dozens of states is wrestling with the "fracking" issue.  Energy corporations want to expand the use of processes that inject fluids way underground, fracture rock formations and pump out the newly-liberated natural gas now trapped below ground.  There's considerable evidence that the fluids they use can permanently ruin underground water supplies and growing evidence of shady dealing by the energy companies.  This week Cuomo is moving toward expanded fracking in New York.

No on nukes, yes on fracks.  Whatever the science it would have been tough political sledding to oppose two separate energy sources. So Cuomo is splitting the political baby. With any luck the hard evidence will ultimately drive the direction of policy. But there's triangulation afoot in a new area, and things are only going to get more energized.

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