Associated Press Published

New York Governor Praised, Scorned Over Fracking Ban

Morgantown Industrial Park

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is getting heaped with praise by environmentalists and scorn by business for a state ban on deep hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, even as he insists the decision wasn’t his.

Pollsters say the state remains almost evenly split on the issue, the divisions are clear and any political advantage is limited.

The Democrat, who was re-elected last month, has said for two years he’d await his health department’s analysis and let science determine the outcome.

Following the governor’s pledge again this week to defer to experts on “this highly technical question,” his health and conservation commissioners described threats to the environment, absence of reliable health studies or proof that drillers can protect the public, and diminishing economic prospects.

Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says he’ll issue the ban next year.