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Comptroller should withdraw funds from losing investment

The New York State attorney general and comptroller are gaining steady public support in their opposition to the governor’s plans to include high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the state’s energy portfolio. Even the governor’s recent State of the State address seemed to indicate that he may back off of hydrofracking, and instead invest in wind, solar and bio-gas in conjunction with localized energy transmission infrastructure, which may prove to be resilient against the next superstorm.

Enter the comptroller. With the triple threat of environmental issues – agricultural water usurpation and pollution; the recent surge in public awareness of the frailties in our energy infrastructure; and a glut of hydrofracked domestic gas, so low in prices that bulk sales overseas have been proposed to raise local demand (so much for energy independence) – it may be time for Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to pull state retirement funds from a losing investment.

This should place the last nail in the coffin of recalcitrant builders who attempt a foot in the door by building gas transport infrastructure in local jurisdictions too spooked by the threat of lawsuits to jump the gun on a statewide ban.

James H. Burnette

Lackawanna