Going the Distance to Set the Facts Straight
Testimony to DEC Hearing November 29, 2011, Loch Sheldrake, NY
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be heard. Being from upstate NY it is unusual that our concerns are heard because so many times they are drowned out from downstate.
I am part of a coalition with over 20,000 households, approximately 70,000 members owning over 800,000 acres of land. (more after the jump)
We have spent over three years investigating natural gas development ourselves, searching for the truths, separating the facts from fiction from our firsthand experiences.
We’ve come to an informed, educated conclusion about natural gas production, which is that it has been done time and time again safely and effectively.
We are pro natural gas, and most importantly, pro landowner rights.
After listening to many of the comments at various hearings, I was surprised to hear so much inaccurate information from uninformed individuals.
I would like to use my time to correct some of the most common misconceptions I have heard from prior testimonies:
1) There is no way to know what chemicals are being pumped down the wells
Not True – www.fracfocus.org lists not only the chemicals that are pumped into every well but all chemicals that are brought onto a well site, this will be for every well in NY.
2) Radiation is at a dangerously high levels
Not true – the JLC purchased a Geiger counter and tested debris fromsites and found that the radiation level from a granite counter top found in many kitchens had a higher radiation reading than debris from a well.
3) There is no way to purify the water
Not True – municipal filtration systems can and have been modified for effective filtration, in cases where older ones were not up to industry standards, their use has been discontinued.
Also there are many different companies including GE that have developed portable water filtration systems that are brought onto the well sites to clean millions of gallons of water to drinking standards.
They are inventing new technologies every day, like the inventions of greener fluids which is a food grade product and the use of propane instead of water.
The reality is that more business will stimulate inventions and development of improved technologies which will not only benefit this industry but many others.
4) Natural gas development contaminates water wells on the majority of the time they are drilled
Not true – The fact is there have been over a million wells developed in the US, hydraulic fracturing has been in use for over 60 years and there has never been any proof to show that this process has contaminated any water wells.
There have been over 70,000 natural gas wells developed in upstate NY. Being from that region we have never heard anyone say you can’t drink from my well water because it’s been contaminated from natural gas development. This includes hundreds of wineries in those regions that have never lost a single grape because of natural gas development.
I’m here today not because I have nothing else to do or that I enjoy this, it is because I believe in individual landowners rights, the rights that have become an inconvenience for many of those more financially fortunate.
Take what you’ve learned and move this process ahead. We have waited, investigated and endured enough stall tactics from those who will never support this process or respect landowners rights.
We are the landowners from upstate NY and we are pro natural gas and most of all pro land owner rights.
Dr. Chris Oliver