Thursday, December 18, 2014


We'd already been shocked by Obama's opening of Cuban relations and Sony's closing of The Interview, and while I knew the health report on fracking was due out yesterday, I never imagined it wouldn't be followed by dithering, with the best possible outcome being a split decision: You guys who like fracking can frack; you other guys can sit around and watch. Well, I was wrong. Phillip Anderson of The Albany Project has the best synopsis of how local grassroots action led to a statewide ban. The IJ today points out Dryden's role in the decision.

To call the decision not to frack gamechanging is to minimize it. Not only does it set a precedent for other states on the fence (Maryland, Michigan, etc.), but it also pulls the rug out from under a lot of NYS politicians for whom this issue, pro or con, has been the bellwether. Here's hoping that a lot of that grassroots energy that underwrote the ban can be turned gently toward related issues of climate change and green technologies. Meanwhile, those of us who have built up calluses of cynicism are starting to crack and soften with this vindication of the more sanguine activists who led the way.

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