Cuomo Aide Says Fracking Not In State of the State

11:18 AM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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By Jon Campbell, Albany Bureau

ALBANY -- Hundreds of supporters and opponents of shale-gas drilling are expected in the capital city Wednesday for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address, but a top aide to the governor signaled the hot topic would not be a part of the speech.

Howard Glaser, Cuomo's director of state operations, on Wednesday said Cuomo won't specifically address hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in his speech, though he will be discussing broader energy and environmental issues.

Cuomo's State of the State is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"It's not a part of the State of the State because it is under a review period," Glaser said on Talk1300 (WGDJ-AM) in Albany.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation first launched its review of high-volume hydrofracking in 2008 and a decision on whether to allow it in New York has remained on hold. In September, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens asked the state Department of Health to identify outside consultants to assist with the review.

The DEC faces a Feb. 27 deadline to finalize proposed regulations for fracking or allow them to expire.

Folk singer Pete Seeger and singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant will take part in a rally against hydrofracking at noon, organizers said Wednesday. The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, a pro-fracking group, said as many as 300 landowners will be in Albany for Cuomo's speech.

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