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Hawkins to challenge Cuomo on fracking study

Oct 22, 2014 12:15 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="587"] Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins.
(Courtesy Hawkins Campaign Facebook page.)[/caption]

On the eve of the four-way gubernatorial debate in Buffalo, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins called out incumbent Andrew M. Cuomo on his energy policies, asserting the Democrat is "as pro fracking as [Republican] Rob Astorino." At a press conference Tues., Oct. 21, Hawkins said he intends to question Cuomo Wednesday night about why his administration edited and delayed a federal fracking study in 2011. An investigation by Capital New York found administration officials had extensive communications with the study authors and asked they downplay or erase the original descriptions of environmental and health risks associated with the hydraulic fracturing process. Hawkins has indicated as governor he would direct the state Department of Environmental Conservation to take steps to halt fracking statewide, as an unwise energy choice and a threat to the environment, water and public health. In an editorial endorsing Cuomo's re-election, Mon., Oct. 20, The New York Times called Hawkins' candidacy "unrealistic," but noted his "ambitious ideas are useful goads to the governor from the left." Referencing the editorial, Hawkins was asked at the press conference what he hopes to convey during the debate with a statewide audience tuned in: PLAY (:46). The Buffalo News and WNED/WBFO of Buffalo will co-sponsor the hour-long candidate forum, which will be broadcast statewide on the PBS network, New York’s public radio stations, and streamed live at BuffaloNews.com, beginning at 8 p.m., tonight (Wed., Oct. 22). Candidates Cuomo, Astorino, Hawkins and Libertarian Michael McDermott are scheduled to participate.
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