Meanwhile, fracktivists were hounding Andrew Cuomo wherever he went in New York. They were relentless. Cuomo increasingly found that he simply could not appear in public anywhere in the state without a healthy contingent of anti-fracking protestors showing up to greet him. Night or day, rain or shine, on weekends and weekdays, from Montauk to Watertown. It was obvious that they were annoying the hell out of him and he let slip more than once that he basically hated their guts.
And Cuomo began to feel the heat. What once seemed like a forgone conclusion that Cuomo would eventually open up at least a portion of the Southern Tier’s shale to fracking began to seem less sure. The fracktivists began to seriously limit Cuomo’s freedom of movement on the issue because their relentless pressure made Cuomo have to start actually talking about fracking. Cuomo began paint himself into an ever smaller corner by parrying questions about his fracking stance by repeatedly pointing to a too-long-in-coming study on the health effects of fracking from the Department of Health.
And public opinion began to move as well. It was just a few years ago that New Yorkers were generally indifferent on the issue, though generally supportive, especially in Western New York. That needle really began to move in the anti-frackers favor in the last two years. It moved enough that the politicians had to begin taking firm stands one way or the other. All those local fights had done wonders in educating people about exactly what was at stake.