Senate candidate says fracking delay is unnecessary

Oct 4, 2012

U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long is accusing her opponent of not supporting natural gas drilling, which she says would create jobs in New York. Long, a Republican, held a press conference Wednesday in Syracuse to blame Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of delaying its approval.

The Manhattan attorney says Gillibrand is speaking out of two megaphones: one to New Yorkers, and one to celebrities and environmentalists, and that the junior senator from New York should do more to support it.

"The whole reason for doing that is just to create a backstop and another means of slowing this down, dragging it out, just in case her allies here working in the state, like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., can’t kill it just through the state process."

Long says recent layoffs at Welch Allyn and a defense contractor in Elmira are reason to move forward with fracking. And she believes the calls for more studies and regulations of fracking are unnecessary.

"I don’t think that we’ve really seen a lot in terms of public health and safety damage. So I think you have to balance them out. And I would look at the individual law or regulation in question."

Long would not say if she would support the FRAC Act, congressional legislation which would place hydrofracking under federal regulation.

Gillibrand is heavily favored in the polls to win re-election over Long.