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Cuomo Denies Deliberate Fracking Delays

Governor Cuomo says he’s not backing away from fracking, despite two delays announced recently by his environmental agency.

In the past several days, Governor Cuomo’s environmental department has announced that it’s undertaking a new health review of fracking, and that it will likely miss a deadline and have to restart the rule making process to permit the gas drilling process in the state.

Governor Cuomo, speaking in Syracuse, denies that he’s delaying.

“There is no step back,” Cuomo asid.

Cuomo says the health review is in response to request by environmentalists, who had wanted an outside survey. The governor says his agencies can do a better job.

“It will be a stronger review to withstand a legal challenge,” Cuomo explained.

And the governor says lawsuits are likely.

The new delays mean fracking probably won’t begin until at least next year. That has angered some leaseholders hoping to make a profit from fracking.  Environmentalists are cautiously optimistic.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for the New York Public News Network, composed of a dozen newsrooms across the state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.