Will Public Outcry Against Fracking Sink Governor Cuomo's Political Ambitions?
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Rogers points to recent findings that “less than 6% (of wells drilled) actually met minimum economic thresholds.” Last Spring, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) downgraded hypothetical gas output projections, proffered by industry when it introduced the novel form of fracking (that uses hazardous chemicals) in 2004. Since the actual gas output is less than projected, this downgrade raises the need to expand drilling locations to meet the industry’s promise of increased supplies. Despite industry claims to provide “energy independence” for the U.S., these more limited supplies are slated to be shipped oversees for high profit sales via new ports refurbished or built for mass export.
“If Cuomo moves forward with fracking, he will be risking his political future,” activist and actor Mark Ruffalo predicts. Neither providing “energy independence” nor compensating for the deficits it creates—which include the appropriation of public water for use in drilling—the decision to frack New York could hang heavily and persistently on Cuomo like the albatross from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. “The economy, jobs and farming all will be better served by a bold and visionary move to a renewable energy policy for the State,” says Ruffalo. “That’s what would put Cuomo on the path to the presidency and the right side of history.”
If instead Cuomo’s fracking compromise winds up stalling his presidential run, the Governor could have more time to contemplate the Rime’s core message, “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”