Simultaneously with a whole lot of political maneuvering apparently intended to confuse everyone, characteristic of New York State, the Cuomo Administration has released a set of revised regulations for natural gas development using high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
The New York State Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on hydraulic fracturing languishes but the Department of Environmental Conservation published, late last night, proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations along with a Notice of Continuation under the State Administrative Procedure Act that extends the rule making process for ninety days. The publication also indicates comments will be accepted on the revisions to the regulations from December 12, 2012 through 5:00 PM on January 11, 2013.
It appears Cuomo is threading the needle very carefully from a political perspective and actually making allies of pros and antis in one respect; by getting them to agree this is no way to make policy. It's less like making sausage then teasing a starving man with pictures of steaks that are flashed before his eyes every few minutes. Nevertheless, this latest step must be taken as a positive. New York State has finally produced something to evaluate in the way of actual standards, based on voluminous input from all sides.
Individuals unfamiliar with New York ways often run away screaming what is it with that state? But, the Empire State goes to the beat of a different drummer. Not many states, after all, refer to their lowest courts as Supreme Courts. Moreover, the guy doing the drumming (I'm talking about state government as a whole) seems to be a Charlie Watts wannabe who's old enough to be retired at least three times but keeps rockin the same old tunes with an occasional new twist.