Blame the weather.

That is what Governor Andrew Cuomo is doing to explain why his state is losing population.

He says that people go to Florida and Texas because New York is just so durned cold.

This certainly beats blaming high taxes or restrictive regulations for population loss.

But, if it is the weather, there is a solution. Clark Whelton explains in City Journal:

Fortunately, a bonanza of cheap, clean heat is available: the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, which range from Kentucky to Ontario, are two of the largest sources of natural gas in the world.

And they pass directly beneath western, central, and Southern Tier New York—the poorest (and coldest) parts of the state. Trillions of cubic feet of natural gas from the shale beneath these struggling regions could help solve their heating and economic problems simultaneously.

If New York’s abundant shale-gas supply can help attract new industries and employment opportunities, it might even reverse the state’s loss of population.

Nearby Pennsylvania, which is also atop the Marcellus and Utica formations, has managed to capitalize on this natural resource. Using new, environmentally-safe technology, Pennsylvania is gladly tapping into this resource. But not New York.

What Whelton dubs the "anti-gas gang in Albany" is swinging into action to defeat any plans to follow in Pennsylvania's path.

These state officials want people to use firewood and wood pellets instead of tapping into the natural gas potential. This requires cutting down lots of trees, which you'd think environmentalist would dislike.

But they approve of dead tress to prevent us from extracting the advantages from fossils. Indeed, if you know any old hippies stuck in the sixties, they likely have a wood burning stove for heating.  That's a badge of honor, displaying that you spurn fossil fuels.

Many anti-fossil fuel activists maintain that burning wood is "carbon neutral," which is increasingly being challenged by scientists in Europe.

Instead of treating gas deposits like a gift, the Cuomo administration, so as not to offend environmentalists, must oppose using what could be an inexpensive source of fuel to keep warm.

Whelton writes:

Politically, Cuomo had little choice. State environmental leaders were threatening to put an “army” of 40,000 activists—a kind of green Antifa—in the field to take direct action against frackers and to punish Cuomo at the polls if he refused to toe the ecological line. The governor had already witnessed the sad fate of enviro-heavyweight (and former brother-in-law) Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who in 2009 came out in favor of natural gas.

For his apostasy, Kennedy was taken to the woodshed, so to speak, by the environmental lobby. Kennedy saw the political light and joined the anti-gas gang.

New York State pumps millions in “antipoverty” funds into areas that its own counterproductive energy policies are impoverishing. Counties struggling with unemployment, crime, and drug abuse get rewarded with casinos, a regressive industry highly effective at relieving people of their cash and encouraging greater social pathology.

Residents of the Southern Tier are also denied access to the economic development and health improvements that would come with a natural-gas pipeline from next-door Pennsylvania. Instead of the opportunities offered by fracking, upstate’s shivering residents are told to burn their own forests for heat.

So it's not the cold, Governor Cuomo.

It's the restrictions on developing an inexpensive way to stay warm in New York winters.