Appalachian Basin

Eating the Natural Gas Elephant

New York has some exciting natural gas events on the horizon, including a screening of Silent No More this Saturday in Windsor and a rally, “Real Jobs for Real People,” in Albany on Monday.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

It may be an old vaudeville joke, but it’s true. For pro-shale gas development advocates, that pachyderm is one big enchilada, too. There’s a couple tasty new bites to savor this week.

Down in Windsor (Broome County), property owners in the Windsor Central School district opened their tax bill to see that their tax rate actually decreased by 5.8% . The reason? The nearly $30 million added to the school district’s tax base thanks to the Laser pipeline from Susquehanna County to a compressor station in Windsor. The Town of Windsor’s tax base grew from $310.5 million last year to its current taxable value of $342.5 million, thanks to the 9.5 mile pipeline through the countryside.

See for yourself on Saturday night. You’re invited to Windsor Central High School (Rte. 79 in the town) starting at 6:30pm, perhaps to join in a whoop of tax payer happiness, but to help good folks from the environs prepare for Monday’s “Real Jobs for Real People” rally in Albany.

The assembled crowd will also screen “Silent No More,” a short (under 30 minutes) video featuring six Southern Tier women and their personal stories of advocacy. Some are familiar names, like toxicologist-mom Uni Blake and health care professional Sue Mickey. Other faces and stories are less familiar and just as passionate. You’ll meet Marian , small business owner who just wants more business for her business, and Hazel Brandt, a retired police officer of distinction who’s honoring her late husband’s passion for natural gas development by becoming an active advocate. These are real stories about real people: not celebrities in their weekend homes extolling the virtue of artisan cheese and small batch winemakers. These women form the fabric of the community.

This week we also learned that a new industry report anticipates natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale will climb ever higher. GlobalData in London (UK) predicts gross production is set to reach 4.8 billions of cubic feet equivalent (bcfe) in 2015 before finally stabilizing in 2020 at 7.7 bcfe. According to Buffalo Business First, GlobalData’s report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house
analysis conducted by the firm’s industry experts, garnered from more than 700 qualified business analysts and 25,000 interviews conducted with industry insiders every year in a wide range of industries.

And the American Enterprise Institute echoed last summer’s study about the drop of CO2 emissions, as a result of improved technologies in hydraulic fracturing. Over just the last seven years, CO2 emissions per capita have fallen by almost 19% from 20.25 tons per capita in 2005 to 16.44 tons per capita in 2012 (based on data through the first half of the year).

We’ll take these tasty morsels with us to the “Real Jobs for Real People” rally in Albany on Monday. Solid science, people with passion, a scuttle of economic prosperity, and a liberal dose of a cleaner, greener environment is a delicious recipe for one fantastic New York.

Take that, Big Apple.

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