Anybody who knows anything knows there is no fracking with New York. And that is exactly the message that Governor Andrew Cuomo just told natural gas companies by agreeing to officially ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing from the state’s bounds. Earlier this year, the New York town of Dryden, banned fracking and seeing the entirety of the state follow suit is an incredible win for all New Yorkers.
The debate over the safety of fracking has carried on for years, but thanks to promise that natural gas could end our dependence on foreign oil, the practice has proliferated across the country. While some might say we gain by using natural gas instead of burning coal, the cost to the health of the environment and the communities who live near fracking sites is far too high.
In the process of fracking, massive lines rigged with explosives are drilled into the shale regions of the earth’s bedrock. Then millions of gallons of water and “fracking fluid” are injected to push pockets of natural gas to the surface. This process is extremely resource intensive and the water used returns to the surface so polluted with chemicals and toxic minerals that it cannot be recovered. This polluted water often seeps into groundwater supplies, contaminating drinking water and killing plants and animals. Communities who live near fracking sites have higher rates of cancer, infertility as well as headaches, nausea and sporadic nosebleeds.
Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation ultimately concluded that the health risks, mostly in the form of air and water pollution, associated were too great to risk continuing the process in the state. New York sits on top of both the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, making the state a veritable gold mine for natural gas. Cuomo initially saw the prospect of fracking as a way to improve the economy upstate, but in the end, what good would an improved economy be to sick people with polluted air and water resources …
We commend the action of environmentalists and concerned citizens alike who worked so hard to help influence this decision for the benefit of all! Let’s hope with New York setting the bar, many other states follow in line and ban fracking as well.
Image source: NYPost