In January, many were pleasantly surprised that Governor Andrew Cuomo did not discuss hydrofracking in his State of the State message…. and then unhappily surprised when President Barack Obama discussed it at length in his State of the Union speech– although NYS fracking proponents were encouragedUPDATE: NY Congressman issues statement: Hinchey, DeGette and Polis Call on President to Endorse Stronger Protections from Hydraulic Fracturing, More Study

Early February has seen a hearing held in Washington by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Chaired by Representative Ralph M. Hall.  This hearing was a follow-up to the presentation of EPA Draft Findings in their investigation into the water problems in Pavillion, Wyoming (they concluded that the water problems are “probably” due to the fracking in the area).  Josh Fox, the filmmaker who made the film “Gasland,” attempted to attend and videotape the proceedings at the hearing, at which gas industry scientists only had been invited to speak. The Chairman of the Committee had him removed from the chamber in handcuffs. The story of his arrest, and what he believes it means about Congress conducting its affairs in compliance with the First Amendment to the Constitution, is well-stated in this television interview (the Ed Show).

Sandra Steingraber, a biologist and environmental activist, also published a statement in response to Josh Fox being led out of the Capital in handcuffs.  That statement is here.

Meanwhile, there is a public hearing on the New York State Budget planned for next week– all day Tuesday, Feb. 7. If you are in the Albany area, you might want to attend and let your state government know your views.