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Governor needs to keep his promise to residents

I find it very interesting that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest email newsletter addresses the very significant concern of integrity in government. It is well-known that integrity and commitment to public good suffer when they conflict with personal and private interests of powerful political positions.

Promoting political integrity while being courted by political contributions from the gas and oil industry certainly taints the integrity of a decision to retract a promise of science and safety in the decision-making process for fracking in New York State. It makes one wonder if “political” and “integrity” are words that can be used in the same sentence. What about the health and safety of the very lives and livelihoods of the residents and taxpayers of communities to be impacted if fracking is allowed?

It seems, from what I read, that the majority of folks who want this fracking, and the mess associated with it, live in areas where they will be miles away from the actual process. The communities and lives of ordinary citizens who will be adversely affected and do not want fracking or associated activity (horizontal drilling, injection wells, waste disposal, new pipelines, etc.) don’t seem to factor into the decision process.

The governor promised a study – scientific results – before deciding whether to condemn the state to this fate. He promised the health, safety and integrity of ongoing businesses (agriculture, wineries, tourism, etc.) would all be taken into account. Is the lure of industry money causing a reversal in this promise? Where is the integrity in this? If the governor is promoting legislation to protect integrity in government (and he is), then he needs to demonstrate this, and keep his word to the residents and taxpayers of New York who deserve a safe, healthy, frack-free state.

Paula Calleri

West Falls