Woo hoo!

Dr. Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D., the Acting Commissioner of Health for the State of New York, just said no to fracking in New York. The Department of Environmental Conservation will issue an order next year prohibiting fracking in New York.  The order will be self executing. Governor Cuomo does not need to act.

Thanks Dr. Zucker!  Thanks activists!  Thanks Ommegang for saying you’d leave if New York allowed fracking.


4 responses to “Woo hoo!

  1. I’m puzzled by this on two fronts, and have to disagree with you on this.
    First, whatever one’s opinion on the science of fracking and its various impacts, it’s the wrong argument. The focus should be on the profligate use of energy, the wanton destruction of the environment by “economic development”-related surface construction, and a lack of personal accountability in society with the resultant expectation of facilitation of maladaptive lifestyles.
    Second, now we should celebrate that an appointed politician (an acting one at that) has made an edict of significant impact? Are we no longer members of a representational democracy?

    • That you think the focus should have been elsewhere doesn’t change the fact that fracking was on the table. Gas was found, people saw dollar signs and the debate was on.

      As to the mechanism of the decision, I would not want to let voters decide whether to trash the state and my health. If it had been found to be safe, have a vote. Otherwise, no thank you.

  2. I’d encourage you to think more deeply on this…(N.B.: my comments should not be read as being pro- or anti-fracking…I have insufficient knowledge to have an informed opinion on this specific technology). It is very evident that “fracking” is being held up as the issue by a sound-bite oriented society/media however because it engenders gut-level reactions that sell advertising slots, and so the discussion avoids the real issues. Cut the demand for energy (fossil fuel in this instance) and there is no further discussion. Cheap energy might stimulate economic development, but clearly it’s detrimental to our overall well-being in many ways direct and indirect, and the logic of the desirability of continued economic expansion is not tautologic; do we really not have enough yet? We should be paying, up front, the full costs of the energy we dig or pump out of the ground or harvest from atoms or the wind.
    The method of this specific decision is a little frightening to me, in this country, I admit. As I understand these things, we have a representational democracy with a bicameral legislature precisely to avoid the ill-considered blunders of mob rule/direct democracy. There is much about the relationship you refer to (the role of the average voter in determining policy) that I find frustrating (as you evidently do as well), but my Polish colleague who was part of the Velvet Revolution reminds me at least twice weekly about the alternatives….

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