Thursday, December 18, 2014

New York State to Ban Hydrofracking


New York State can breathe a sigh of relief for the protection of its environmental health, especially its groundwater. Governor Andrew Cuomo will be banning hydrofracking in our state.

Hydrofracking is variously defined as hydraulic fracturing, hydrofracturing, hydrofracking, fracking, or fraccing, and innocuously alluded to as "drilling for shale oil." What it really does is allow private companies to inject water and a proprietary (and therefore undisclosed) concoction of chemicals into our shale to hydraulically drill for oil. While to the energy-conscious this might seem a good thing, reducing our reliance on foreign oil, it is in fact an untested, unproven, expensive, and hazardous undertaking.

Hydrofracking risks contamination of groundwater, soil, and air, and can also be linked to instability in the ground itself. There have been numerous reports showing the damaging results of hydrofracking. I don't even need to go into them; you can Google it for yourself, including one presentation by Thomas Shelley, a former chemical hygiene officer at Cornell University. Mr. Shelley participated in a 2011 panel discussion on hydrofracking presented by Upstate University.

Cuomo stated that it's our responsibility to find energy alternatives. Bravo to Governor Cuomo for listening to New Yorkers' concerns and for putting the environment and our future health first.

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