New York Governor Andrew Cuomo must have winced as state environmental commissioner Joe Martens was grilled on fracking during budget hearings last week.
One legislator after another hacked at Martens, as he acknowledged that the state’s fracking health review wouldn’t be ready for “a few weeks,” despite being “critical” to an environmental impact statement that must be finished in a week.
To make matters worse, Commissioner Martens refused to commit to taking public comment on this critical health review. That’s because he’s run out of time for such comment without starting the whole process again. So, the public’s right to give input on the single most important report ever commissioned by the state on fracking is going out the window.
Please don’t imagine that Cuomo doesn’t care about how bad this looks. When nearly 300,000 public comments are submitted on an issue in less than one year, savvy politicians like our governor don’t just take note of public opinion, they pore over every detail.