ACSH s Dr. Gil Ross spoke at length last night on an upstate New York radio program, dissecting the December decision by Gov. Cuomo to ban fracking in the state. Ross s opinions were acerbic, to say the least.
Last night, ACSH s Dr. Gil Ross was the only guest on an hour-long radio program, entitled The Junk Science Behind NY s Fracking Decision, on WNBF-AM 1290 radio, emanating from Binghamton New York (an appropriate locale, given the sad state of the Southern Tier s economy in the absence of fracking). The host was Vic Furman, a member of the Joint New York Landowner s Coalition, a group in litigation against the state s decision to ban fracking, which prevents landowners from exploiting their private property rights by leasing to drilling companies.
In order to fully appreciate the depth of the travesty and politically-minded hypocrisy inherent in the 184-page long document prepared by Acting Health Commissioner Howard A. Zucker and presented to Gov. Cuomo last December, one really should read ACSH s several peer-reviewed publications on the subject of HVHF (high-volume hydraulic fracturing), which can be found here.
In summary, Dr. Ross eviscerated the ostensible devotion to science promulgated by the Cuomo team, the lack of which is present on every page of the document, A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development, under the ostensible supervision of then-acting Commissioner of Health, Howard A. Zucker. Ross perspective was that the negative flavor and final recommendation to ban fracking, extending the 5-year moratorium into permanence had been prepared months (or years!) before the actual announcement, by Gov. Cuomo working behind the scenes with environmental activist groups (such as NRDC, among others) whose devotion is to ridding our nation of fossil fuels, whatever the costs, rather than anything related to science or public health. Ross expressed the opinion that Zucker s predecessor as Health Commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, had resigned and fled the state rather than signing on to such an abomination of a science-based report. In fact, the author himself states quite clearly that there is no proven link from fracking to adverse health or environmental impacts. Yet, his recommendation was to ban it anyway.
This was a foregone conclusion, as Cuomo would not sacrifice his political ambitions no matter how negligible his chances by flouting the left-wing anti-fracking fringe. Too bad for New Yorkers and our state s and our nation s best interests. He balanced Yoko, Mark and Josh s interests on the one hand, and the rest of us on the other, and said, in effect, Drop Dead New York when he banned fracking. Now fracking is dead in the state or is it? Cuomo s reign will not last forever, and hopefully neither will this ill-advised and politically-motivated ban.