Wendy Long: Don’t forget about the Utica Shale!

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Standing next to a giant map of the gas-rich rock formation spanning several four states and two Canadian provinces, GOP Senate candidate Wendy Long touted the potential of the Utica Shale and used it as an opportunity to knock her Democratic opponent.

Long, a Manhattan attorney, criticized Gillibrand for not taking a strong position in favor of hydrofracking, the controversial method used with drilling to extract natural gas from shale formations. Much of the attention in New York has focused on the Marcellus Shale, but Long pointed to a report last week from the U.S. Geological Survey that found the Utica may have 38 trillion cubic feet of “technically recoverable” natural gas.

“The potential of the Utica Shale and the Marcellus Shale to revolutionize the economy of New York, to bring back jobs, to give us a strong economy, to get manufacturing going in this state again, is unprecedented,” Long said at an Albany news conference. “The scale is unprecedented.”

The Utica Shale spans nearly all of upstate New York, aside from the North Country.

High-volume hydrofracking — necessary for exploiting the gas reserves in the shale formations — has been on hold in New York ever since the state Department of Environmental Conservation launched an environmental impact study in 2008. Long wouldn’t criticize Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the delay — she said he was under an “enormous amount of pressure” from Gillibrand’s “celebrity supporters” — but said Gillibrand isn’t doing enough to stoke the upstate economy.

“Meanwhile, my opponent walks across the state with phony, so-called ‘jobs’ bills that are nothing more than spending a few more taxpayer dollars and not even getting any more certain jobs,” Long said.

According to The Associated Press, Gillibrand spokesman Glen Caplin “would not comment on what he called conspiracy theories from a struggling campaign.”

(AP File Photo)

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8 Comments

  1. Rebecca Casstevens on

    we upstate citizens are glad to have gillibrand who puts our safety and longterm economic wellness above profits of the steamroller dirty oil & gas industry!

  2. As a conservationist Republican who lives in upstate New York, I find Long’s statement about celebrity second homes assinine. We are real people up here who value our air and water. As one who gets his drinking water sourced from wells through a municipal system the issue is a serious one to me and several thousand of my neighbors. I would suggest both Long and Gillibrand need to really understand who upstaters really are and where we are.

  3. Ms. Long doesn’t seem to realize that the vast majority of the NYers working to keep unconventional gas drilling out of the state are grass roots, regular folk from all parts of the political spectrum. I live in Broome County, right along the PA border. Watching the multiple negative impacts that gas drilling has inflicted, while the economic positives have accrued to drilling companies, a few large landowners, and mostly non-PA workers, has convinced me that drilling is wrong for New York.

    Does Ms. Long realize that jobs in gas drilling are among the most dangerous in the country? We need jobs in safe, sustainable occupations, such as the 800+ jobs coming to Broome County due to the SUNY 2020 program at Binghamton University, which includes new start-ups using technology from the existing Solar Lab and the soon to be built Smart Energy Center. We can have energy production without trashing our environment and our health. Approving unconventional fossil fuel drilling will just get in the way of our inevitable move to renewable, sustainable energy.

  4. What’s wrong with having a clean reliable domestic energy source?

    These anti-fracker people just want us to buy more oil from the middle east & I don’t see how that helps.

  5. Good for Gillibrand! We need more politicians like her, who aren’t afraid to stand up to the fracking industry, and who put their constituent’s health and the well being of the environment over profits for the energy industry! Long is short sighted and like most Republicans, scientifically ignorant. They continue to ignore the myriad of signs that climate change is very real, and hydrofracking will add to that problem as well as to other environmental problems.

  6. I live in the southern tier and know from going door to door that most people know the truth about gas drilling: their homes will lose value, their property taxes will go up to pay for diminishing services, they fear for their health. We live across the border from Pa., it’s just a short drive to see for ourselves all the water buffaloes in peoples’ front yards. We don’t see any signs of prosperity, only despair. And why are most of the men we see driving trucks with out of state license plates? No thanks. No fracking here.

  7. Michael Dineen, Ovid, NY on

    Turning New York into another West Virginia-like economy completely dependent on the destructive extraction of fossil fuels is not the way to develop a sustainable economy. Turning state government over to oil bosses, as has happened in a certain state just south of us is not a rational way to respond to the threat of global climate change. Long wrong about these things and far out of touch with the attitudes of most New Yorkers. She has figured out that there’s a lot of cash to be had for a politician who caters to the oil & gas industry. Unfortunately for her, there aren’t a lot of votes from New Yorkers.