Cuomo has positive words for fracking

By WBNG News

August 19, 2013 Updated Aug 19, 2013 at 8:54 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) President Obama is a fan of natural gas and as his visit to New York nears, Governor Andrew Cuomo had some positive words regarding fracking.

Cuomo said he will greet Obama when he arrives in Buffalo on Thursday.

That's according to the WNCY report, Capitol Report.

According to reports, anti-fracking protesters will also greet the president.

The president supports natural gas development. And Cuomo, who spoke Monday on the Capitol Pressroom radio show, says he can see why.

"The president's point that fracking has economic benefits, energy benefits for this country is inarguable," said Cuomo.

"Every area that has participated in fracking will tell you it has seen increased commercial activity and it has an economic boost effect," the governor said.

Tom West, an attorney for the oil and gas industry, said, "I think it is the first time that I've heard him admit in no uncertain terms that the economic and energy benefits of hydraulic fracturing are inarguable."

West said Cuomo's statement is a big deal, saying, in the end, it will be the governor's decision on whether the state allows fracking.

Ground zero for fracking is the struggling Southern Tier,

And it also happens to be one stop on President Obama's Empire State swing.

"I am not sure what the president is going to talk about but if he is going to be talking about economic development in the Southern Tier, it has to recognize the potential of natural gas development," said West.

Environmental advocates have pushed hard against approval, citing the potential for water and air pollution.

And even with the positive comments, Cuomo has said he will not make any decision until a review of health concerns is complete.