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Letters to the Editor

September 13, 2013

No rational reason 
for local fracking

Given what we now know about the impact burning fossil fuels has on climate change, the petroleum industry and their allies are playing Russian roulette with the future of our civilization by insisting we take every last hydrocarbon molecule from the Earth and burn it now. Their policy is akin to driving at full speed in a fog toward a cliff.

The gassers keep telling us how “good” it will be if we allow the gas industry to start drilling. The lessons learned from Pennsylvania suggest that this industry is out of control and in need of being reined in. Unfortunately, our DEC is not up to the task of protecting us from gas drilling, as their sGEIS set-back recommendation of a mere 500 feet is clearly inadequate.

In Dallas, Texas, home to the petroleum industry, a 1,500-foot set-back was recently passed by the city council to protect residents from drilling impacts. While it is arguable if this distance this is sufficient, the gas industry has gone on the offensive to try and roll back this regulation because of a depraved indifference to public health and safety.

Banks and insurance companies are beginning to scrutinize properties close to active drilling operations, and people are finding out the hard way that assurances from gas companies mean nothing when underwriters refuse to accept leased properties or properties adjacent to active drill pads for mortgages or homeowner’s insurance due to the multitude of risks.

Arguing for gas drilling because we need to make more plastic or chemical fertilizer is hardly a rational argument for allowing the gas industry to do to New York state what they have done elsewhere, and leave a trail of silenced victims behind when they move on ... and a 500-foot set-back is a decision based on political science and NOT “hard” science!

Richard Averett


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