Speed Reads

What the frack?

Dem Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration watered down key fracking study

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's (D) administration revised a key federal fracking study and then delayed its release, according to Capital New York.

Capital obtained a copy of the original study, begun in 2011, as well as emails between Cuomo officials and the federal agency that produced it. The findings:

A comparison of the original draft of the study on naturally occurring methane in water wells across the gas-rich Southern Tier with the final version of the report, which came out after extensive communications between the federal agency and Cuomo administration officials, reveals that some of the authors' original descriptions of environmental and health risks associated with fracking were played down or removed.

The final version of the report also excised a reference to risks associated with gas pipelines and underground storage — a reference which could have complicated the Cuomo administration's potential support for a number of other controversial energy projects. [Capital New York]

Cuomo has repeatedly punted a decision on whether to permit fracking across the state, saying he wanted to make the "right decision," but "not necessarily the fastest decision."