"Hydrofracking," 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 hydrofracking in New York comes down to weighing the very real environmental impact concerns against potential economic benefits. This May, New York State passed a one year moratorium on hydrofracking. Pennsylvania allowed hydrofracking and has experienced watershed pollution as a result. As a pro-business Democrat, David will get behind proposals that would help stimulate the economy upstate and lessen our dependence on foreign oil, but only if we can ensure that any such process is safe for New Yorkers. We need only look at the Gulf oil disaster to see what happens without the necessary precautions.
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.
David is concerned about the fact the company that patented the hydrofracking process has yet to disclose the chemicals it injects into our water table. David wants to keep the moratorium in place and let the EPA finish its assessment. If hydrofracking is proven to be safe, then David proposes we develop a comprehensive plan that will protect our upstate communities and impose tough penalties on polluters. If it is not proven to be safe in its current form, then David hopes to explore ways we can improve the process to make it safe. David knows we are facing one of the worst economic downturns in a generation, but he also knows we cannot let these hardships blind us to our future. Potential long-term health risks can lead to sharp rises in future healthcare costs. One need look no further than to the photos of devastation from the Gulf to understand what is at stake. As State Senator, David will put the health and well being of the public above short-term political patchworks.
As the next State Senator from Rockland and Orange Counties, David will do everything in his power to protect the water supply for our community now and for generations to come.