A leaked New York state analysis says fracking is safe technology which will not cause dangerous water contamination.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has been studying the issue of fracking in NY state for four years now. His administration seemed poised to finally approve some use of the drilling technique last year, but at the last moment he caved to pressure from environmental groups and restarted the regulatory process.
The New York Times reported Thursday that a leaked report produced by the state concluded nearly a year ago that fracking is safe technology. While the Times does not appear to have published the 8-page analysis, it offers quotes which sound conclusive on the issue: "By implementing the proposed mitigation measures the Department expects that human chemical exposures during normal HVHF [fracking] operations will be prevented or reduced below levels of significant health concern."
The document was leaked to the Times by "an expert who did not believe it should be kept secret." The paper offered copies to environmentalists for comment. One responded that the document "is merely a defense or justification as to why the administration didn’t do a rigorous study." But the reason given in the report for not pursuing such a detailed study is that too many assumptions would be involved for its results to be useful.
The analysis was concluded months before Gov. Cuomo's recent punt on a final decision which took place in September 2012. While the Times is at pains to suggest environmentalists are just as irritated as drilling proponents with state secrecy on the issue, it's clear that hiding this particular report only benefited the anti-fracking forces and punished those who stand to make a profit from the process.