Cuomo’s Hydrofracking Honeymoon Ends July 1

Throughout his first legislative session, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had the luxury of sitting on the fence on the politically explosive question of whether or not his state can safely open its borders to a controversial natural gas drilling technique.

During that grace period, Cuomo successfully backed gay marriage, watched his approval rating soar above 60 percent and heard buzz about his potential as a 2016 presidential candidate.

But the honeymoon ends July 1 when the state Department of Environmental Conservation releases its latest draft of requirements for permits to use high volume hydraulic fracturing when drilling in New York’s Marcellus Shale formation. According to The New York Times, the Cuomo administration will lift what has been a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

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EPA Cuts Already Hurting States

In a deal to keep the government running, the Obama administration agreed to reduce this year’s Environmental Protection Agency budget by 16 percent. Many Tea Party Republicans celebrated the $1.6 billion cut to an agency they believe over regulates business. The Washington Post reports that most of the money is passed on to the states to help them meet federal guidelines. Many state environmental officials, already hard-pressed for funds, are finding it difficult to implement clean-water and drinking-water projects – the two programs that were cut. Bloomberg News ran a story on the same day that Dow Chemical Inc. wants to increase sales at its water unit more than 60 percent over the next five years by slashing the cost of its filtration technology. The story said, “Global demand for fresh water will exceed existing supplies by about 64 percent or 2.7 trillion tons by 2030 as populations increase and people move to cities where lifestyles use water more intensively, McKinsey & Co. estimates. Bridging that gap by upgrading pipelines and increasing water-processing capacity will require an investment of about $55 billion a year over the period, the consulting firm said.” Continue reading at The Washington Post and Bloomberg News.

Japanese Prime Minister Casts Doubt On Japan’s Future Reliance on Nuclear Power

Fukushima Daiichi. Photo: GlobalDigital
Fukushima Daiichi. Photo: GlobalDigital

A feeling of desperation is sweeping over Japan as news from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power site worsens with high levels of radiation now showing up in groundwater. International Atomic Energy Agency monitors are urging a wider evacuation zone beyond the Japanese government’s evacuation perimeter.

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Interior might Force hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure

Reuters reports that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday said the department is considering forcing companies to reveal “fracking” fluids used to extract national gas on federal land. Disclosure would help federal agencies like Interior and the EPA assure the public that this extraction method does not harm the environment and the public.

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