Ban on Hydrofracking in New York state

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I am writing this letter on behalf of the Citizens of New York in favor of hydrofracking. We urge you to lift the ban on hydrofracking in New York state (NY) and provide our reasoning here. In 2017, NY ranked sixth in the US for natural gas consumption, with this resource providing 40% of NY’s electricity and 60% of residential heating (EIA, 2019). The Marcellus Shale presents a tremendous resource that NY needs to use to improve U.S. energy independence and security, create jobs, and boost the economy in NY. Nearly 70 years of experience and data have proven that hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is a safe technique to secure our countries natural gas resources. This technology has been used to drill over one million wells and access over 90% of the oil and gas in the U.S. (Cheremisinoff, 2015) The hydrofracking industry continues to develop and implement new technology in order to improve efficiency and reduce the environmental footprint of natural gas production. (API, 2020)

Lifting the ban on fracking in New York would strengthen U.S. energy independence and security. Energy independence and strategic stockpile are critical for our national security. The need for adequate supply and stockpile of resources has been demonstrated currently with the coronavirus pandemic. The power grid continues to be a vulnerable target for terrorist attack and potential take down (Idaho National Laboratory, 2016). Our country needs additional natural gas stockpile in the event of potential acts of terror by our adversaries. It would be detrimental to our country to be in a similar situation where we did not have enough energy supply. Our country needs geographical energy diversification and stockpile to provide energy security in the event of a disaster, terrorist attack, or war. The bottom line is that the Marcellus Shale is a massive natural gas resource that needs to be utilized to enhance U.S. national security.

Hydrofracking would provide substantial growth to New York’s economy and help the US move towards becoming a major liquefied natural gas exporter. The economic benefits supersede potential health impacts, given that alternatives include coal and oil. Natural gas has been noted to be an important “bridge” energy source that will help us transition away from the use of oil and coal to cleaner energy (Frumkin, 2016). The natural gas gained from the Marcellus play can be used to replace coal fired powerplants, and reduce the need for natural gas to be imported from other states. Fracking in NY will naturally decrease the price of natural gas, allow for less expensive electricity production, and in turn draw manufacturing companies to the region further improving the economy. We have seen firsthand the potential economic benefits fracking has provided our neighboring state Pennsylvania. Scientists from Penn State’s Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering estimate that the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania will bring in over $1.8 Billion in state and local taxes, provide over 211,000 jobs, with a total value added of over $18 Billion in 2020 alone (Considine et al, 2010).

Furthermore, over a half-century of experience has demonstrated that fracking is safe for our communities. In perhaps the largest study of its kind, Siegel et al. analyzed a data set with over 34,000 individual well samples throughout Northeastern PA, and found that there was no clear pattern or relationship with the amount of dissolved methane in drinking water and proximity to gas well sites (Siegel et al, 2015). Of course, we as citizens of NY care greatly about the health and welfare of ourselves and our communities here. Thus, we feel that it is prudent to enact stringent regulations and monitoring in order to ensure that we can maintain the health and safety of our citizens. As with any oil/gas operation, there are inherent risks. These can be minimized with strict regulations to prevent and reduce potential contamination of groundwater, methane and VOC pollution, air pollution, and exposure to chemicals. As Nicholas Cheremisinoff summarizes nicely in Hydraulic Fracturing Operations: Handbook of Environmental Management Practices, the EPA, Ground Water Protection Council, and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission all concluded that with best practices applied, fracking is a safe technology and “…poses little to no risk of contamination to underground drinking water sources… (p. 154)”

Overall, it is clear that utilization of the Marcellus Shale confers robust economic and security benefits that vastly outweigh the probability of negative public health or environmental effects. If the ban is lifted, we feel that it would be best to move forward slowly with fracking operations, in order to make sure that appropriate policies and safeguards are in place, and to reduce “boomtown” phenomena as much as possible. We hope you consider the presented facts and evidence in your decision to lift the ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Cite this paper

Ban on Hydrofracking in New York state. (2021, Oct 25). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/ban-on-hydrofracking-in-new-york-state/

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