|Sharpton under arrest, 2008|
Back in April, we questioned New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's connection to race hustler Al Sharpton, and wondered if most New York taxpayers realized that a leftist radical had become our state's highest legal officer.
Now we find Schneiderman, who ran for office promising to prevent the use of hydrofracking to recover New York's vast shale gas reserves, in the position of having to defend the practice in court.
Whe n Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was on the campaign trail last year, he released an environmental agenda with seven major initiatives he intended to take up in office.In red type, the document listed his top priority when it comes to protecting New York's land, air and water: "Sue to Prohibit Hydrofracking."
"He will make sure that no drilling took place until it was deemed to be safe and regulated by the DEC and EPA," the document reads, citing his "proven record of fighting against this new and unproven technology."
Fast forward to 2011, and Schneiderman now will likely face the task of defending a set of regulations proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation that would allow for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, with a bevy of restrictions, to move forward in New York.
While it might appear that New York is slowly inching toward possibly allowing limited horizontal drilling at some point in the distant future, analysts should try applying logical analysis to to Schneiderman's official position:
But Schneiderman, the former Democratic state senator from Manhattan, said he'll be able to balance his concerns about natural gas drilling with his duty as the state's top lawyer. Legal challenges are widely expected at some point, and Schneiderman has said he'll represent the state, as the law requires him to do.
"I think we're going to end up with a set of regulations that are designed to ensure that fracking is only done safely, and that has partly to do with how you regulate the process and partly to do with the areas that you allow fracking," Schneiderman said in a recent interview with Gannett's Albany bureau.
"That's an ongoing process with the DEC. They are my client, and we're hopeful that we're going to come up with a good set of regulations."So we have a radical leftist, openly influenced by Al Sharpton, as New York's designated defender of shale gas. Don't hold your breath.