GOP chairman pushes pro-fracking agenda in Buffalo

Nov 7, 2013

Fracking supporters were inside the Hyatt Regency Thursday night while opponents were outside in the rain.

The Independent Oil and Gas Association is holdings meetings this week in the hotel, talking about issues in the gas drilling business and meeting with politicians.

A group of fracking opponents gathered outside the Hyatt to protest the gas drilling method.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

State Republican Chairman Ed Cox spoke last night, speaking with the knowledge of a board member with a major company in the field and with millions of dollars in investments in fracking companies.

Cox says he supports fracking because it's good for state residents with regulations pushing wealthy people and jobs out of state.

"Jobs leave here, people with good blue collar jobs that are paying $80,000-90,000 a year. They leave to go to Pennsylvania because that's where the jobs are, not here in New York. It's the energy of New York, whether it's blue collar or whether it's wealthier people who invest, they're leaving New York," Cox said.

Cox is attacking Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying his administration's failure to make a decision on fracking shows he's a "ditherer" like his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo. Uutside in the rain, Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder said Cuomo is doing the right thing.

"You can't come here to Buffalo and criticize this governor, who is doing his best to look at this issue of natural gas opportunities and options called fracking. And so I think it's very disingenuous for him to come here and say that this governor is foot dragging when he's only been the governor for 1,000 days. The governor is trying to vet this through, to make sure there's no public health problems," Schroeder said.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and Assemblyman Sean Ryan also spoke at the opposition rally.

Cox says fracking will be a significant issue in the gubernatorial race as soon as his party has a candidate.