Governor Cuomo has been in the midst of great debate in respect to hydraulic fracturing, a process that has been known to contaminate groundwater and air quality. Some countries have completely banned the method of extraction. A growing number of New Yorkers in opposition demonstrate their resistance in front of The Harvard Club where Mr. Cuomo ate for breakfast. You could say, his unexpected guests joined him for green eggs and ham.
Almost a year ago, Governor Cuomo ordered Dr. Nariv Shah to conduct a study on the health effects of drilling. Political pressure has put Cuomo in a position to bring the Health Department Study to a head. They project over 200,000 jobs either directly related to fracking or industries that benefit from “lower” energy cost output. The impression of the energy source being safe emerged when 30 other states approved its use. Contrary to this belief, 4 states, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas have confirmed water pollution from drilling.
Consider New York’s “other half” where drilling will be prominent. Places like Mohonk, Nyack Village, The Adirondacks, Greater Niagara, Chautauqua-Allegheny, Finger Lakes, Thousand Islands-Seaway, Central New York, and The Catskills landscapes are at risk for spills, methane leaks, and flow-back; all of which impose health risks and induce environmental injury.
The documentary Gas Land directed by Josh Fox outlined consequences of areas exploited for slickwater fracking energy. Mr. Fox discovered communities in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah were significantly affected by the practice. His documentary exposed the extremely dirty environmental conditions that had adverse health effects which caused impairment to the people and land but were blatantly denied by politicians. Putting stake in the 200,000 job’s claim and fast forward toward a possibility economic development in the form of hoarded profits and low wage jobs as it has been with modernistic big business ventures.
A study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology finds that “shale gas has a return value which is close to coal.” As we have recently witnessed, profits have benefited the upper echelons in society which have consistently deleted alternative cleaner and healthier products due to their lack of profitability.
In the documentary, landowners who put their house on the market ended up with unsalable houses, methane contaminated water, and polluted backyards. Analyzing the current trend of big business, it is doubtful the general population will benefit from financial prosperity anyway.
Governor Cuomo’s delay could show that he is well aware of the controversy posed around drilling in New York State.
Possible solutions to cleaner fracking do exist! CleanStim, GasFrac’s Fluid, and Ecosphere Technologies’ advanced oxidation where 100 percent of the water used in this process can be recycled. Combining cleaner fracking methods with alternative natural energy sources like solar and wind power can help to change the energy industry as we know it.
It is safe to say, a large responsible ball of energy rests on Governor’s Cuomo’s hand. We can only hope he sees things as clearly as the general public has when it comes to the winners and losers in big business energy.