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  • An Analysis of Hydrofracturing Gubernatorial Decision Making

    Hydrofracturing is a white-hot commercial, legal, environmental and political controversy in New York State. The announcement by DEC, which was followed by the release of a 1,537-page preliminary draft supplemental generic environmental impact statement on July 8, 2011 (dSGEIS), began a ninety-day public comment period, and brought the controversy close to the point of final decision by the DEC and, more importantly, by Governor Andrew Cuomo. If permits are to be issued for horizontal fracturing, it is expected to occur in or about the summer of 2012. This essay explores what Governors Paterson and Cuomo knew when they made their respective process decisions, the considerations they had to balance, and the difficult decision consequences that Governor Cuomo will have to weigh in 2012 when final permitting criteria will be established and likely implemented. The essay also assesses the decision making process.