Those concessions aren’t enough for critics.
New Yorkers Against Fracking, a leading opposition group, fears the governor is creating “sacrifice zones” in the southern part of the state as a way to appease energy firms and political figures eager for drilling.
“We need to respond now. We will not sacrifice the health of residents of the southern tier for gas industry profits,” the group announced on its website Wednesday morning. “Get on Facebook and Twitter and use the power of social media to spread this message far and wide. Let’s make sure there is nothing on Gov. Cuomo’s Facebook wall except our contempt for his disregard of the lives of New Yorkers.”
The organization also is calling for protests, promising “rallies in communities across New York state” on Thursday.
Calls to the governor’s press office Wednesday were not returned.
Not all in the natural gas industry are pleased with the decision, either.
While the partial opening of New York’s natural gas reserves would create jobs and produce more domestic energy, it could create a complicated, confusing patchwork of regulations.
“While these reports may be somewhat welcome news for American consumers and, in particular, New York landowners, [the move] nonetheless raises more questions about the ongoing regulatory uncertainty in the state,” said Travis Windle, a spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a fraternity of drilling companies.
Mr. Cuomo’s move could lead to some regulatory confusion, but others say it merely gets the ball rolling. The limited drilling, if performed safely, could have an impact on other states, including Maryland, that are in the middle of detailed fracking studies.
It also may eventually reduce the influence of environmental activists opposed to American fossil fuels, Mr. Pyle said.
“The more states that participate in this energy boom, the better off we are as a nation,” he said. “It will take these issues away from the environmentalists. Soon there will be so many states involved and producing these resources, they’ll be overwhelmed.”