by David Carlucci
“Hydro-fracking,” the process of using water and chemicals to release trapped deposits of natural gas in shale shelves, in many respects is New York’s equivalent to the Gulf’s deep water oil drilling process…and must be treated as such. Whether to allow unchecked hydro-fracking in New York comes down to weighing the very real environmental impact concerns against potential economic benefits.
It is my belief that we do not know enough about either side of this issue to allow widespread hydro-fracking in the Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale formations to begin. We need to thoroughly investigate and understand reports of ground water and nearby stream contamination as well as the health impact to local residents before we jump into this process, or we may end up with an environmental disaster on our hands. Such a disaster would make any economic gain offered by the gas companies seem small by comparison.
Both the NYS Assembly and Senate have several bills pending that would place a moratorium on this process. I support Senator Addabbo’s bill that would enforce a moratorium on hydro-fracking until 120 days after the EPA completes its study on the environmental and public health implications of hydro-fracking. To do anything less would be irresponsible.
Economic gain and environmental protection can work hand in hand, but we need to understand all the implications of new extraction technologies and how to make them safe before we go too far down the road.
One needs to look no further than to the photos of devastation from the Gulf to understand what is at stake.
David Carlucci is the Clarkstown Clerk and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for NYS Senator from the 38th District covering Rockland and a portion of Orange County.