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Opinion

October 16, 2013

Let's get a grip on hysteria over fracking

With so much acrimony and misplaced, illogical, self-righteous indignation on display in Washington, we really don’t need to see that emulated around here.

But there it was last week when Hillary Clinton gave a speech at Hamilton College and acknowledged that according to published reports, domestic production of gas and oil in the United States would soon surpass that of Russia.

“What that means for viable manufacturing and industrialization in this country is enormous,” she said, according to the Gannett News Service.

Golly.

By the fierce reaction of the anti-fracking community around here, you’d have thought that the former secretary of state, New York senator and first lady had advocated spritzing fracking fluid directly into infants’ formula bottles rather than just very briefly acknowledging that America is moving toward energy independence.

In this editorial space, The Daily Star has made no secret of its serious reservations regarding horizontal fracturing in pursuit of natural gas anywhere in our local counties. We see little logic in forbidding the practice in the New York City watershed area, yet allowing it in rural upstate New York.

But we have this advice for those who share our concerns about fracking:

Time to get a grip, folks.

And maybe switch to decaf.

“It’s astounding that she would say something so clueless,” said Larry Bennett, communications director for Brewery Ommegang, in an email to local anti-fracking activists. “Clearly she hasn’t paid any real attention to upstate politics over the past four years — nor has she done any polling.”

A coalition of anti-fracking groups that includes New Yorkers Against Fracking and Catskill Mountainkeeper released an open letter to Clinton, stating: “So is it really so great that we are expanding extreme energy extraction more than ever? No, it’s not. That’s a backward, 20th century belief, and it’s time for you to stop buying and touting the line from big oil & gas.”

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