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Cuomo says fracking decision may take longer

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Governor Andrew Cuomo says he may not decide whether the state should go ahead with hydrofracking for natural gas until after the November 2014 elections.Cuomo, who previously said he would decide on whether to okay fracking in New York before Election Day 2014, now says he wants to give his Health Commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, all the time he needs to complete an ongoing health review that began over a year ago.

“I don’t want to put any undue pressure on them that would artificially abbreviate what they’re doing,” said Cuomo.

Dr. Shah says he continues to examine evolving science on fracking, but says he does not feel a need to reveal details right now of how the study is progressing.

“The process needs to transparent at the end,” Shah said. “Not during.”

Shah says “science needs to be done in a sacred place” in order for the data to be analyzed in an objective manner.

Cuomo says the decision on whether to go ahead with the controversial gas drilling process will be a “major decision” with “potential health consequences.” 

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.