Hydrofracking still a topic in Charlotte
Controversial issues were far from protected at the convention. One of the big ones is hydrofracking and questions about it followed Governor Andrew Cuomo all the way to Charlotte. Nick Reisman has more.
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- No matter where Governor Andrew Cuomo turns, he's confronted by a nagging issue that's facing him back home in New York: Hydrofracking.
The controversial natural gas extraction process is being considered for a green light by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. It's opposed by environmentalists and one group went as far as taking out a full page ad in The Charlotte Observer in time for the governor's appearance at the Democratic Natural Convention.
“The ad in the Charlotte Observer proves that the aphorism that all politics is local and however Andrew Cuomo goes, New York is going to go. The lobbyists will follow, the issues will follow and it's no surprise that both sides are spending money to try to let the New York delegates, wherever they are, get to see it,” said Larry Levy, Center for Suburban Politics at Hofstra University.
Cuomo has said he's waiting for the facts from the DEC’s report before drawing any conclusions on hydrofracking, an issue that is deeply polarizing for New York.
New York Assemblyman Joe Morelle said, “I think that the governor is trying to balance those issues, as is the legislature, so we'll see over the next few months, but I think president Clinton said it right, that this is not going to be moving forward, we're not going to be living in a world where there is one single energy source.”
It's potentially tricky political situation for the governor, who faces environmentalists on one end and business groups who say fracking can bring much needed jobs for the state.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said, “It's an issue people in New York are talking a lot about and we're hearing and we're hearing from the DEC about different strategies that are going to be coming out shortly. We have an energy crisis in this country and we need to look at solutions for it, but we need to be responsible as well.”
On the national level, Democrats have embraced an "all of the above" strategy on energy, which includes natural gas exploration. It could provide Cuomo a political road map should fracking be allowed.
“The President’s strategy, which he calls ‘All of the Above’ works, too. The boom in oil and gas production, combined with energy efficiency, has driven oil imports to a nearly 20 year low and natural gas production to an all-time high. And renewable energy production has doubled,” former president Bill Clinton said.