Cuomo Signals No New Drilling, Pending Studies

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Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo is signalling he won't approve the use of a controversial gas drilling technique until he's seen "bona fide" studies showing it can be done safely.

Hydraulic fracturing uses water, chemicals, and sand under high pressure to open up gas deposits buried deep below the earth's crust.

Cuomo says he needs to know more before he gives the green light to fracking to tap New York State's huge underground gas reserves.

"If it were safe, if the watersheds were protected and it would create jobs, great. But you need the facts. And we don't have the facts," Cuomo said.  "We have a lot of emotion, but we don't have the facts. And I would not do anything until the facts are determined by bona fide studies."

Cuomo spoke Thursday morning on WOR's John Gambling Show.

The natural gas industry argues fracking can be done safely. But there have been spills and explosions in neighboring Pennsylvania, where thousands of wells have been drilled in the past few years.

The Marcellus Shale formation, which lies beneath Pennsylvania, New York, and stretches into Ohio, is estimated to contain enough natural gas to meet the nation's energy needs for several years. But the gas is hard to obtain because it's buried in shale rock deep underground.

A number of government studies of fracking are already underway.