Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo--
I don't think it's too early to start thinking about your "legacy". You are inheriting a state that is a total train wreck. We are a fiscal, economic, demographic, and political disaster. You are, in fact, inheriting an almost hopeless situation. And that's the good news! The bad news is there is a very real chance it will get worse. Even as a polar opposite philosophically, I can still see the reality of your challenges.
The basic political conflicts show no signs of changing. Upstate interests are totally controlled, through the Assembly at least, by New York City. Succession is, unfortunately, a non-starter. So, a tyranny of the majority is, democratically, imposed on the upstate citizenry.
That political reality does not lessen your fiscal, economic, or demographic problems. The apparent "easy" cure for a lot of the state's problems would be a rapid, strong economic recovery. That really doesn't look like it's in the cards. However, you do have access to a step in the right direction. That would be the Marcellus Shale gas deposits. I won't attempt to outline all the benefits-they are so obvious they become literally a "no-brainer".
Accepting the benefits, we are left with the "disadvantages". I also will not attempt to break down all the "anti's" charges. For now let's just say that all of them, every single one, under scientific, factual, honest, study become to at least some degree, buffalo chips. To make a very long argument as short as possible I will present a question that I have never seen an intelligent answer to: If drilling for gas, including hydraulic fracturing, is so devastating, why haven't any of the states using the process stopped it's use?
Let me answer that trick question. It's because the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, or problems. This is the collective conclusion of at least fourteen other states. Are we to believe that all those states' environmental protection agencies are wrong, and only New York's environmentalist extremists are right?
I know that as a liberal you have to cater to the environmentalists-as opposed to the more rational conservationists like most of us on the other side of this issue. Only you can decide if there are more votes there than there are in the labor unions as they become more and more involved in this.
We have already catered to the "anti's" for over two years. Let's let DEC speak on this. Let's release the SGEIS and take a big step to catch up to all the other states.
I say this will all the understanding of an ex U. S. history teacher and a political junkie. In view of the situation you have inherited, your legacy is going to need all the help it can get!