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Chris Collins urges Cuomo to permit fracking, blasts solar, wind subsidies

LOCKPORT – Rep. Chris Collins said in a news conference here Tuesday that hydrofracking is safe and ought to be permitted by New York State.

Collins, R-Clarence, told reporters at a Crosby’s store on Lake Avenue that the fracking industry has been an economic boon for Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Texas. “If you follow the rules, it has been proven safe, it’s absolutely safe,” Collins said. He added later, “If we were hydrofracking, we would have jobs.”

He accused Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of playing election-year politics with the issue. “It’s holding our state back from prospering with hydrofracking and also having lower energy costs,” Collins said. “His far-left environmentalists don’t like hydrofracking.”

Collins also said subsidies for solar and wind power should be halted because those technologies are “not ready for prime time.” He made the statement at a gas station which last year installed a solar array that was 35 percent funded by a state grant.

“If they don’t make economic sense without subsidies, which they don’t, then you put them on the shelf until they do. That’s how a competitive world works,” Collins said. “Borrowing money from China, telling our kids they’ve got to pay it back over the next 20 years so Joe Homeowner can put a solar panel on his roof, I think that’s fundamentally wrong.”