Full Court Press: Energy In Depth Continues Aggressive, Fact-Based HF Educational Efforts in NY Papers

Recently, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a series of new rules governing the safe and responsible development of abundant natural gas reserves found in the state’s Marcellus Shale formation. While the long-awaited Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) from the DEC laid out commonsense safety guidelines for natural gas production through the use of the 60-year old proven technique called hydraulic fracturing, some energy production opponents prefer that the federal government – not individual states – regulate this process. Some clean energy opponents would rather block the environmentally sound production of natural gas altogether.

Energy In Depth has not let baseless attacks on hydraulic fracturing and job-creating energy production in New York’s Southern Tier, and elsewhere, go unchecked, though. Here are just a few news hits from this week in several regional New York papers.

Energy In Depth’s Lee Fuller

  • “A Sept. 23 letter cites a recent Reuters piece on Environmental Protection Agency testing of water wells in Wyoming, and uses it to perpetuate the idea that a 60-year old energy technology known as hydraulic fracturing may be linked to possible contamination. Your readers should know that, contrary to what was reported in Reuters and rehashed by the letter writer, EPA itself has suggested no such link exists. … The fact is, hydraulic fracturing technology has been called upon more than 1.3 million times over the past half century, and is used today to stimulate the flow of energy in nine out of 10 wells in America. Some folks might consider it an amazing stat that, in all this time, not a single case of drinking water contamination has been credibly tied to the technique.” (Lee Fuller, “In defense of hydro-fracking,” Ithaca Journal, 10/6/09)


  • “Although it’s a distinction likely to be lost on the activists quoted in your Sept. 28 article (“Shale drilling stirs concern”), the recent spill of nontoxic materials near Dimock Twp. earlier this month had nothing to do with the hydraulic fracturing procedure. Instead, it was an incident created by a faulty pipe coupling, part of a mixing process that took place far away from the drilling pad. … The state Department of Environmental Protection has responded to the Dimock incident as just what it is — an incident where procedures need to be improved. DEP understands that hydraulic fracturing is a critical technology that we need to unlock the extraordinary potential for jobs, revenue and energy security ready and eager to be found in the Marcellus. It also understands that producers and fracturers must demonstrate that they will properly manage it.” (Lee Fuller, “Spill distinction,” Scranton Times Tribune, 10/1/09)


  • “Lee Fuller, policy director for Energy In Depth, a national trade organization, held it up as a model of how states can fairly and effectively make their own rules. The organization is part of a concerted effort by the industry to kill a bill proposed by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, that would bring a process involving chemical stimulation of wells, called hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — under federal jurisdiction. “Amazingly, even on a day when DEC released some of the most restrictive fracturing rules in the entire country, some would rather throw out the entire document, render the review process null and void, and hand over to EPA the authority to do what DEC is more than capable of doing itself,” Fuller said.” (Tom Wilber, “Natural gas quest: Technical report carving deep divisions between gas companies and industry critics,” Press & Sun-Bulletin, 10/4/09)

Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York and Energy In Depth member

  • Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, said the state’s regulations already were regarded as the nation’s strictest, but he didn’t feel the additional rules would discourage drilling. Gill said with the regulations getting final approval, expected around the first of the year, “I think we will see drilling in New York and the economic boom associated with it.” (Julie Sherwood, “Gas drilling coming to the Finger Lakes?,” Canandaigua (NY) Daily Messenger, 10/5/09)

As the debate moves forward, with fracking opponents relying on opinions and anecdotes, Energy In Depth will continue to deliver detailed, fact-supported information to the public about the safety, soundness and critical importance that hydraulic fracturing will play in meeting our nation’s growing energy needs. 

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