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New York Governor Says He’ll Make Fracking Decision Before 2014 Election

Jan Somma-Hammel/Staten Island Advance /Landov

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, says he will make a decision on lifting the state's fracking moratorium before 2014.

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will make a decision on whether to lift the state’s moratorium on fracking before the 2014 election.

It’s not clear how much that statement means, though, since the debate in New York has gone on for nearly five years.

In 2011, the head of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation said a decision might come as soon as the spring of 2012. In February of this year, the state allowed another self-imposed deadline to pass.

Even if New York moves forward with fracking, the industry says it probably won’t have much of an impact on operations in Pennsylvania.

More from the Post Standard:

Cuomo, a Democrat in his third year, says he’s waiting for the results of a review by his state health commissioner, Dr. Nivah Shah. Those results should be ready within several weeks, Cuomo said Wednesday during an editorial meeting with The Post-Standard and Syracuse Media Group.

“I expected it to be concluded already,” Cuomo said, adding that Shah has said the review of potential health effects from the deep drilling method should be done in the next several weeks. “It’s not in the distant future. But it’s not done yet.”

New York’s health commissioner Dr. Nivah Shah says he’s looking at several large-scale public health studies related to fracking, including two in Pennsylvania.

Shah has cited a study by the Danville-based Geisinger Health System. However research there is still getting underway, and the first phase of the study isn’t expected to be completed for three to five years.

Meanwhile, critics in Pennsylvania have complained the state Department of Health hasn’t been given a bigger regulatory role when it comes to gas drilling.

The agency doesn’t receive any funding from the Act 13 impact fees, which have brought in over $400 million in the past two years.

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