Two months ago it looked as though New York would give approval to fracking—after several years of moratorium, activism and studies. "Sacrifice zones" would've been created in poor counties, areas where fracking would be permitted. Governor Andrew Cuomo was behind the move. Except that it now looks like all that might not come to pass.
First there was the announcement, coming after Labor Day (the date initially hinted that fracking would come to be permitted), that additional health reviews would be conducted.Now, the New York Times reports, that the entire permitting process will be restarted—new public hearings, public commenting, new reviews, the lot of it—meaning that a decision won't happen in 2012, just by virtue of the bureaucracy.
NYT sums up the influence of the vocal, impassioned and high publicity anti-fracking campaign so far:
The developments have created a sense in Albany that Mr. Cuomo is consigning fracking to oblivion. The governor has been influenced by the unshakable opposition from a corps of environmentalists and celebrity activists who are concerned about the safety of the water supply. The opponents include a number of people close to the governor, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a longtime environmental activist in New York whose sister is the governor’s ex-wife.
All that said, that sense does assure that fracking won't be permitted in New York once the review process gets completed (again). Only that activism has worked for the moment.