New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set in motion a ban on hydrofracking oil and gas wells in New York.
There are many good reasons for this ban. Foremost is the unacceptable level of risk to water supplies. New York’s Marcellus Shale is close to the surface. Environmental damage to water and property, especially profitable specialty agriculture, is much more likely to occur in New York than in Pennsylvania.
Nationwide, the amount of atmospheric methane (in carbon dioxide equivalents) is skyrocketing in lock-step with natural gas extraction.
At current natural gas prices, the industry’s cost to plug methane leaks is uneconomic. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas; we can expect global warming to escalate with disastrous increases in atmospheric CO2. The oil and gas extraction industry has one of the worst job-creation dynamics available. The water and air pollution this industry causes could make an industrial wasteland for future economic development.
We have hitched our economic wagon to a dangerous, diminishing star.
Gov.-elect Tom Wolf needs the support of all Pennsylvanians who care about water, soil and air quality. He is trying to curb Pennsylvania’s appalling contribution to global warming. Contact your local legislators to let them know that you support Wolf’s initiatives to improve regulation and responsible taxation of the oil and gas industry.
Mary Carol Frier