Cuomo s Jekyll and Hyde act on energy policies

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is having a hard time remaining consistent in his efforts to influence the regulation of energy sources. While we praise his administration for attempting to lift a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York State, we wonder what came over him to advocate closing the Indian Point nuclear plant.

Commonly referred to as fracking, hydraulic fracturing consists of using highly pressurized water, mixed with various chemicals, to break through shale rock formations in order to obtain natural gas. Though fracking has tremendous potential to create many thousands of jobs while also providing a clean source of energy, environmental activists continue to alarm and misinform the public about the possibility of groundwater contamination, even though they have no evidence to support these claims. Perhaps they should also consider the damage that results from not fracking more pollution from, and reliance upon, foreign oil.

If passed, Cuomo s plan would allow fracking to continue on private land, though it would still be banned in certain watersheds and other state properties, including parks and wildlife preserves.

Unfortunately, when it comes to determining the fate of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, Cuomo readily retreats from science and seems instead to have succumbed to unsubstantiated public fears over nuclear energy. Last week, the Governor told Entergy, the company that runs Indian Point, that he was working to shut down the facility since legislation to expedite the siting of new power plants in New York was already in the process of being approved.

Indian Point supplies 25 percent of the power in New York City and Westchester with virtually no emissions at lower cost, according to Entergy spokesman James F. Steets, so one wonders what alternatives will be used to supplant this vital energy source. All you hear about these days is how environmental activists want clean energy, says ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom, yet they re against fracking and nuclear energy (and pretty much anything else that will actually work). He adds, In terms of clean combustion of hydrocarbon sources, natural gas (methane) is by far the cleanest, breaking down to give carbon dioxide and water, while nuclear power has no emissions at all. This is clean energy. If we do nothing, someone better have an ample supply of hamsters and wheels on hand to make up for the deficit in power.

ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross believes that the recent controversy surrounding Indian Point stems directly from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant incident, which, like the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, has resulted in exactly zero casualties, as far as we know. The potential and actual benefits from fracking and nuclear power are vast, since they can allow us to become less dependent on foreign resources, at low cost and with near-zero emissions.