Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 80-minute lecture and discussion at upstate Hamilton College on Friday touched on dozens of issues — the government shutdown, the global economy, what it takes to be a president and the creation of merlot ice cream, to name a few.
But a few ears in the press corps perked up when she made a brief mention of a major issue facing New York: Production of oil and natural gas.
Late into the lecture portion of Clinton’s Oneida County appearance, she referenced a report that the U.S. in on track to surpass Russia in domestic oil-and-gas production.
That’s good news, Clinton said.
“What that means for viable manufacturing and industrialization in this country is enormous,” she said to the crowd of 5,800 in Hamilton’s athletic field house.
Natural-gas extraction has been a hotly debated issue in New York as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration weighs whether to open its portion of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The increase in domestic U.S. production has been tied directly to the rise of large-scale fracking, which has allowed drillers to target shale formations that were once thought unreachable.
New York first began putting together permitting guidelines for high-volume fracking in 2008. There’s no word on when a final decision may come down, despite Health Commissioner Nirav Shah first saying in January that his review of the technique would be completed within weeks.
(AP file photo)