Fracking, Not Casinos, is the way to Create Jobs Upstate


New York needs jobs. But New York has a Governor with neither the experience nor the will to do what’s necessary to create jobs.

You might not know it from listening to his sleek, Robert DeNiro-narrated ads, but New York is still the most taxed, most regulated, least economically free state in the Nation.

Sixty years ago, we had 45 seats in Congress. Today, we have 27, and our unemployment rate is nearly a full point above the national rate. Many upstate counties have unemployment rates of over 10%.

So what’s Andrew Cuomo's best guess as to how to jump-start our economy?

It’s upstate casino gambling.

No, really. That’s it.

Never mind that casinos in Connecticut and New Jersey are wracked with debt.

Never mind that Atlantic City’s 13.8% unemployment rate is among the worst of any American city.

Never mind that 99% of New Yorkers already live within 99 miles of a casino.

Never mind that three casinos are about to open in Massachusetts, including one close to its border with New York.

Never mind that, while they provide revenue for the government, casinos are a blight on communities and prey off of some of our most vulnerable citizens.

This idea would be downright hysterical if it wasn't serious.

Meanwhile, hydro-fracking, a tried-and-true means of creating jobs, has gone untapped in New York State.

Unemployment along New York’s Southern Tier is 8.6%, over a full point above the 7.5% rate along Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, where safe, legal hydraulic fracturing for natural gas has created over 72,000 jobs since 2009.

In New York, our hydro-fracking industry is being smothered in the crib by a Governor too afraid of his political left to issue fracking permits and too afraid of his political right to ban fracking outright.

We’re left with a de facto moratorium: a never-ending parade of taxpayer-funded studies, forums and impact assessments.

Cuomo’s calculus is clear: he thinks that if he kicks the can down the road just long enough, he won’t catch heavy flack from either the pro-growth right or the environmentalist left when he’s running for President.

He’s wrong. Under the glare of the national media spotlight that accompanies Presidential campaigns, his indecision will be laid bare before the eyes of the nation.

And New York, with our middling unemployment rate and worst-in-the-Nation business climate, will not look like a state whose Governor deserves a promotion.

David Laska is Director of Communications of the New York State Republican Party.