To the Editor:
Anti-hydraulic fracturing activists gathered in nearby Ithaca last week as part of the Global Frackdown Day to challenge the safety and environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing. The fact is, hydraulic fracturing has been used safely for more than 60 years. Recent advances in hydraulic fracturing technology have unlocked unprecedented amounts of natural gas. So abundant is natural gas on this continent that there’s enough to supply America’s electricity needs for the next 575 years at current usage, according to the Institute for Energy Research’s North American Energy Inventory. The Public Policy Institute estimates that if New York were to produce its portion of the Marcellus Shale, more than 37,000 new jobs would be created each year that may pay more than $79,000 annually – more than twice the average private sector wage in upstate New York.
The discredited film ”Gasland” and flawed Environmental Protection Agency groundwater studies recanted by EPA administrator Lisa Jackson herself have resulted in some confusion among the public. Far from an environmental threat, cleaner-burning natural gas was a major contributor to a drop in U.S. energy related carbon dioxide emissions, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s June energy report.
Anxiety evoked by new technology is nothing new. Yet New Yorkers should not allow unsubstantiated fear to reverse the train of progress.
President, Institute for Energy Research