Sustainable Otsego moderator Adrian Kuzminski is scheduled to appear before the National Press Club Newsmakers Committee in Washington, D.C, on Tuesday to talk about the dangers of hydrofracking.
Kuzminski, who lives in Fly Creek, said he was chosen by the National Press Club after responding to comments made by hedge fund chairman T. Boone Pickens during a National Press Club luncheon last month.
"I thought what Mr. Pickens was saying about gas drilling was very one-sided, so I went on their website (http://press.org/home), where there's a place to leave comments," Kuzminski said Tuesday. "I didn't want his opinions to go unchallenged."
Kuzminski said he didn't expect to hear back, but days later was asked if he'd like to appear at a forum in Washington, D.C., to deliver remarks before a panel of reporters assembled by the club.
"I was surprised, to put it mildly," he said. "This isn't the luncheon forum you hear on the radio, but there will be reporters from national organizations there, and it's a way to get the word out on hydrofracking."
Kuzminski is scheduled to address the panel at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Lisagor Room in the National Press Building.
According to an e-mail from the National Press Club, he will be joined by Alan Krupnick of Resources For the Future in an event hosted and moderated by Frank Maisano of Bracewell & Giuliani.
Bracewell & Giuliani "is an international law firm with 470 lawyers in Texas, New York, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Seattle, Dubai and London," according to its website.
Locally, the firm has represented New York Regional Interconnection, which proposed building an electric transmission line through central New York.
According to the National Press Club, Kuzminski is expected to say: "The cumulative evidence on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas shows it is bad public policy. The risks, harms, and costs of that practice so far outweigh its benefits that it should not be allowed to go forward."
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as hydrofracking or fracking, is the process of injecting large quantities of water, sand and chemicals into drilled natural gas wells. The intense pressure from the fracking solution cracks shale thousands of feet underground, often increasing the flow of gas.
Kuzminski said Monday that he was still working on his presentation.
When Pickens, founder of BP Capital Management, was on the National Press Club's luncheon show April 19, he said the United States should supplant its use of Mideast oil with natural gas, augmented by renewable sources. (http://press.org/news-multimedia/videos/national-press-club-luncheon-t-boone-pickens-and-ted-turner)
Pickens said renewables, such as wind and solar energy, cannot replace oil used for vehicles, but natural gas can. "It's cleaner, it's cheaper, it's abundant, and it's ours," he said.
He went on to compare energy sources.
"On cost per kilowatt hour, solar is the most expensive, at $6,300 a kilowatt hour," Pickens said. "Second, if you can believe it -- because of how we've had to clean it up -- is coal, at $5,300. You drop to $2,400 for wind, and then you drop to $1,500 for natural gas."
Kuzminski said Pickens' numbers ignore the environmental consequences associated with drilling and hyrodrofracking for shale gas.
"Mr. Pickens paints a rosy scenario for our energy future, but there are no easy answers, certainly not hydrofracking for natural gas at the risk of poisoning our drinking water," Kuzminski said.
A surer way to a sustainable energy future will involve conservation, improving efficiency, renewable resources and weaning away from fossil fuels, he said.