The Washington Times - February 14, 2013, 10:12AM

Under fire for delaying a decision whether to allow fracking in his state, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended his handling of the situation on Wednesday.

The first-term Democrat and possible 2016 presidential candidate said his call on the popular new gas-drilling technique is “too important to make a mistake” and pledged that his administration will not be held to “arbitrary” deadlines.

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“I don’t think that’s prudent and I don’t think that’s right and I won’t do it,” said Mr. Cuomo, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. He added that his choice will be made based on facts, not emotion.

His administration earlier this week announced yet another delay in its decision-making process, this time to allow the state’s health commissioner more time to study the potential health effects from fracking. Fracking is being used successfully in places such as Pennsylvania, and the Cuomo administration is weighing whether it should begin on a limited basis in portions of upstate New York.

That part of the state, by Mr. Cuomo’s own admission, is in dire need of an economic boost.

Oil and gas industry leader continue to remind the governor what his state is missing out on, while environmental groups and other critics continue an unprecedented public relations campaign to keep the practice out of New York.