A pair of natural gas industry groups declined an invitation to participate in Sen. Greg Ball’s hearing on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, telling the senator in an open letter that they were concerned they wouldn’t get a fair shake.
Ball’s hearing is in full swing as we speak, and the Putnam County Republican had chastised the industry last week for declining to testify. But the state Independent Oil & Gas Association and the New York State Petroleum Council said the senator’s critical comments on hydrofracking kept them away.
“We have watched and read closely your recent comments regarding the industry and its practices,” the groups wrote to Ball. “These pronouncements lead us to conclude that this particular forum does not provide the opportunity for a thoughtful and rational dialogue that we would otherwise hope for with you.”
The list of speakers at Ball’s hearing, happening now in Katonah, Westchester County, included a dozen or so who have been highly critical of the much-debated natural gas technique, which uses a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals to blast open shale formations and release gas.
The list included “Gasland” filmmaker Josh Fox, who Ball shadowed earlier this month in Pennsylvania as Fox continued filming a sequel to the controversial documentary.
The industry’s letter to Ball, dated today, was signed by IOGA executive director Brad Gill and state Petroleum Council executive director Michael Doyle. The full letter is below: