I Support All Forms of Energy Production
Humans demand energy. I support all forms of energy production to include: oil, coal, nuclear, solar, wind, and natural gas. If extracted safely, North America's natural gas supply is an abundant source of energy.
And that's the key word: safe. What is safe?
One argument to define "safe' is no drill, no spill, the avoidance of risk. It's factual to say that if we don't drill we won't spill. If that's your argument, then I would challenge you to define what other industrial processes should we ban in New York? With that mindset we should avoid all risky endeavors.
The alternative argument to define "safe' is the management of risk. Throughout all industrial/manufacturing processes there are risks of injury, pollution, and waste. However, we typically don't abstain from the process but instead setup regulations and processes to minimize risk.
I believe we must manage risk, not avoid it.
For example, human sewage is a pollutant if we just put it into our fresh water supplies. We have treatment plants and septic tanks to manage that risk. Consider all the risks with farming but we accept and reduce the probability of pesticides, fertilizers and hormones from hurting citizens.
Again, all production and energy has risks, even solar and wind, if you consider their manufacturing process and sourcing the materials to build them. I'd like to know, is there a solar or windmill factory that doesn't use oil or rare earth materials?
Mankind Needs Energy and CNY Needs Jobs
Simply put, humans demand energy. We use energy everywhere for everything. Access to affordable energy has improved mankind's existence and made America the world's greatest economy.
But first, we need to define energy separate from electricity. Much of the argument against natural gas is that it's a carbon based energy source and that we should move to wind or solar. These so called "green' energy sources are good sources of electricity. However, we need combustion energy to power trucks, tractors, factories, and such. Maybe that will change in the future, but we need energy today.
More importantly that energy is economic growth. New York is notorious for being the worst place for business. Subsequently, Central New York has seen a population decline as young people leave to find work. There will be jobs for engineers, scientists, truckers, machinists, construction, and etc. This is good news!
No, not all the jobs will be staffed by local people. That being said, just the fact that people will move here is good for our economy. We need to not only have jobs for our residents but we need more families to move into our villages. Think of the growth in housing, education, and local services.
Concerns to be Addressed BEFORE We Drill
While I support drilling for natural gas, I'm not convinced we can do it in New York yet. I want to see the reports from New York's DEC and DOH before we can be definitive that it's safe. Then I want to work with legislators, local governments, and citizens to draft legislation that addresses all risks, before we commence drilling. Issues that I'm hoping to see in the reports are:
* safe drilling depths to protect fresh water
* protective casings around wells that pass through fresh water
* distances between gas wells and fresh water wells
* handling of fracking fluid above ground
* listing of all materials used to include details of the fracking fluid
* staffing levels of DEC and DOH to monitor safety
* water well testing before, during, and after drilling/extraction
* rewriting of NY's compulsory integration law to
* informing citizens on lease structures
* DOT recommendations for road repair and traffic
* assisting local governments that want to setup zoning
* and there are probably more that I'm not yet aware
Six Sigma is a manufacturing management strategy in which the product or process has 99.99966% defect avoidance rate. Let's set that as our standard for fracking in New York. Let's have a 6σ safety plan for drilling before we start the process.
I believe that while there have been people negatively affected by fracking. I also believe that if we set the right parameters we can drill safely in New York. However, most people are enjoying the affordable energy from natural gas, and states that drill for natural gas have enjoyed the economic benefits.
It's time we have reasonable conversation about energy production, fracking, and New York's economy. We need to first see the science from the DEC and DOH. If they say there drilling for natural gas can be done safely then we need to plan how it will be done.