5:03pm

Thu November 7, 2013
Regional Coverage

Cuomo criticized over fracking indecision by Republican leader

State Republican Chairman Ed Cox criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday for delaying a decision on whether or not to allow hydrofracking in New York.

Meanwhile, Cox is being criticized by Democrats because he is on the board of directors of the Texas-based natural gas drilling company Noble Energy and holds about $3 million in its stock.

Cox said Cuomo continues to shift the responsibility when it comes to making decisions on controversial issues, such as hyrdofracking. Cox said he thinks Cuomo should have made a choice early in his governorship.

"The governor, on issue after issue, avoids responsibility by appointing a task force, a commission, a committee or a team, and in this case it's his own health commissioner. And he says 'well it's really all the fault of the health commissioner. It's all up to him, he needs to complete his health study. And I'm not gonna talk to him. I want it all to be about science."'

Currently Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah is compiling a report on the the effects of hydrofracking. Cuomo has said that he won't decide whether or not to lift New York's moratorium on hydrofracking until after that report is complete.

Cox has responded those criticizing his connection with Noble Energy by saying that he is not doing anything to further his personal interests, since Noble Energy has no plans to move into New York.

Cox also said Cuomo "didn't have the political courage" to make a decision early on, and now wants to avoid conflict with environmental groups at the cost of jobs for New Yorkers.

"Good, blue collar jobs that are paying $80,000 or $90,000 a year would be great for people here in western New York. Then they leave to go to Pennsylvania because that's where the jobs are, not here in New York."

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