Gas-drilling supporters protest NY’s fracking ban

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Hundreds of supporters of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas protested Monday in a Binghamton hotel, calling out Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration for its decision to ban the technique.

The Press & Sun-Bulletin’s John R. Roby has more:

Colesville resident Steve Stoddard said he’s seen the economic benefits that come with high-volume hydrofracking first-hand, in his job as a truck driver supplying drilling and pipeline operations in Pennsylvania.

That makes the recent decision to ban hydrofracking in New York like “a slap in my face from the governor,” he said.

“I’ve been back [from the Navy]18 years, and all I’ve gotten is one headache right after another from the government in the state,” said Stoddard, a member of Teamsters Local 317. “The taxes keep going up and the jobs keep going out.”

Stoddard was among more than 200 pro-drilling advocates who gathered Monday at the Holiday Inn Binghamton to protest the state’s drilling ban.

The rally, organized by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, drew speakers from labor unions, landowners and area politicians. They accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration of ignoring the science and economic plight of upstate New York.

Stoddard said he worked 14-hour days for three months on a directional drilling operation in Wysox, Pa., two years ago. On that job, he said, he saw businesses stay open 24 hours because of demand, and convenience stores staffed with eight or nine employees, even during off hours.

“We need work here,” Stoddard said. “I’ve watched this area continually degrade until people call this Doom County, because everything that comes here, dies.”

You can read Roby’s full report over at Pressconnects.

(Photo by John R. Roby/Press & Sun-Bulletin)

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21 Comments

  1. Better Future on

    Folks, we don’t allow smoking on airplanes and we don’t allow fracking. Science shows that fracking, much like smoking, is disastrous for people’s health. It also spells environmental ruin and threatens property values, tourism, and agriculture. Time to stop buying the oil and gas industry’s propaganda and gross exaggeration about economics and jobs, and listen to the science, which rightly compelled the ban. Governor Cuomo wisely listened to the science. Even today, another study shows the wisdom of the governor’s decision, linking earthquakes in Ohio to fracking: http://www.livescience.com/49326-fracking-caused-ohio-earthquakes.html

  2. BF,
    If you are so against the use of natural gas and other petroleum related products, I suggest you stop using them. You have no control over the origin of the gas itself and the electrons you just used to send your comments. Please walk the walk, then we can talk.

  3. The Governor DID let the science decide his response; that is WHY he banned hydrofracking! The industry even admits, themselves, that VERY FEW JOBS are created as a result of fracking! So you ruin the environment, permanently, by the way, you destroy the landscape, ruin our tourism industry, so a few people can get employment via the fracking industyr!? And by the way, fracking has also turned out to be one of the most DANGEROUS jobs!! And it has been shown to be a ” boom and bust” industry; the jobs and accompanying increase in revenue for the peripheral companies lasts for a few years, and then it’s over- and the area is destroyed AND the taxpayers are left to pay for the damages to the area!! Just what New Yorkers need, right!? There are way more, long term, safer, healthier jobs to be had in the renewables market- and they won ‘t destroy the environment like hydrofracking will!!

  4. victor furman on

    Dr Zucker presented no science nor was he qualified to do a health report. Dr Them one of only 500 Dr’s in the country who does have the credentials to do a heal study did a study in 9 states over an 18 month period and found no adverse health effects. You can listen for yourself at http://www.jlcny.org by clicking on this link and go to the top left side of your screen, cliq on the fourth link down in “jlc united hits the airways.” Dr them talks about Dr Zuckers failures and misrepresentations in detal.

  5. To the people of the Southern Tier who looked to fracking as a way of providing income, an improved economy and something that could actually convince their kids to stay in the area and be able to find well-paying jobs. I agree that you were let down in the plans for NYS’ economics, but not because fracking has been banned. Rather, something that should have started years ago is that the Southern Tier should have been the focus area for start-up funds, green and renewable energy – including manufacturing and and building the infrastructure, including retro-fitting buildings already built, job training and educational opportunities. I’ve argued that since the beginning, and will continue to advocate for this kind of investment in the Southern Tier. We’re not your enemies, just as you are not ours.

  6. Patricia Goldsmith on

    It’s disingenuous to say that people should get off fossil fuels before we ban fracking. We need to ban fracking as part of a public policy initiative to move to renewable energy. This transition is an unparalleled job creator. Studies show that communities that turn to fossil fuel extraction for jobs end up net losers. The extraction costs them more than it gives back. Solar and wind technology offer good-paying, permanent local jobs that do not pollute the environment or poison workers. We need to do all we can to attract these jobs to New York, and the best way to do that is by setting aggressive renewable energy targets for the state. There are certainly problems to be solved in making this inevitable, necessary transition off climate destroying fossil fuels, but those who solve them first will thrive.

  7. Liberals want you to stop but they can continue to use the one energy product that is clean and inexpensive, natural gas. Their solar panels are filled cadmium, a nephrotoxin (toxic to the kidneys). The wind turbines are bird killers. Why are wind turbines exempt from killing bald eagles and the endangered species act? The anti frackers are hypocrites.

  8. An analysis of peer-reviewed science papers related to HVHF from 2009-2014 shows that 96% indicated potential public health risks or actual adverse public health outcomes. http://psehealthyenergy.org/data/Database_Analysis_FINAL2.pdf Dr. Zucker was following the science and the administration decided to place protection of public health first.

    Mr. Stoddard’s story illustrates one of the problems with shale gas jobs – they tend to be short-lived. Things were busy in the initial drilling phase and local businesses got extra customers, but then the rigs and the crews move on and the local business falls off. The Southern Tier doesn’t need that kind of boom-bust cycle. That’s why it’s better to look at renewable energy and renovating/building for energy efficiency. There is lots of potential for local jobs that will stay in the area long-term.

  9. Dr. Zucker is Cuomo’s tool, his excuse for banning fracking. Dr. Zucker has NO public health credentials, and owes Cuomo for his job. What results do you think he would return? Funny that he did not reference Dr. Them’s study, a doctor who lives in the middle of over 100 wells in Bradford County PA, and who actually has the required credentials. As to the peer reviewed studies the antis like to cite, who wrote them? Who reviewed them? What are the credentials of those who wrote the papers, and those who reviewed them? What did the reviewers actually SAY? How paid for the studies? All too often we see the same unqualified shills (Howarth, Ingraffia, et al) bought and paid for by the Park Foundation, Heinz Foundation, and others, churning out the same drivel, reviewed by the PSE (Howarth, Ingraffia), which also recieves funding from the same Park Foundation. Liars reviewing liars.

    The more fundamental issue is – how are we, the landowners, going to be compensated for the theft of our property rights? Don’t tell me I can still use my land – my mineral rights under the land have been stolen by Cuomo, who just violated his oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States by taking those rights without compensation.

  10. What a Joke, all I ever hear is renewables, wind and solar.
    Every last piece of solar panels or wind turbines take, FOSSILE FUELS TO BUILD, thats right EVERY PIECE REQUIERES NON RENEWABLE ENERGY TO MAKE.
    HOW IS STEEL MELTED, MINEED, MOLDED, BROUGHT TO THE SITE AND ERECTED, the main barring in the windmills are heat treated with natural gas for tempering and then dipped in special oil for lubrication, all plastics used in solar panels come from fossil fuels, all solar panels take fossil fuels to produce them, deliver them, install them, ridicules, ridicules, ridicules,
    YOU COULD NOT EVER HAVE SOLAR OR WIND WITHOUT THE USE OF FOSSILE FUELS TO MAKE THE PARTS, TO TRANSPORT THE FININSED PRODUCTS, OR TO INSTALL THEM.
    ridicules, ridicules, ridicules,

  11. Seems odd that former DOH commissioner Shah left without releasing the health study after pursuing it for two years. Sounds like he wouldn’t commit to Cuomo’s political agenda and was replaced with someone who would, Zucker!

    All the studies sited were debunked by highly reputable scientists including Dr Them. Funny Zucker didn’t cite Dr Them’s study being only one of a handful of qualified people to make a determination.

    I especially like the Cornell Vets “study” where the data is not even valid according to the researchers themselves yet was used to validate Zucker conclusions.

    When are antie fossil fuel people going to start to think for themselves and not be led like sheep to slaughter by the antie radical zealots?

    Learn or not, your choice!

  12. As someone who has an electric car running off solar, and has switched from a gas range to an induction range (better than gas!) I find it insulting to hear anyone say “walk the walk, then we can talk”.
    Incidentally have you “walked the walk”? Have you drank frack contaminated well water?
    Until we make the investments in our infrastructure, until we strengthen our grid, until we make community solar legal, until we do all the things necessary to make renewables a larger part of our energy (creating LOTS of jobs in doing so), until we do all that only some of us can make the transition. That is what will allow us to dramatically lower our use of fossil fuels, and those working to make that happen ARE walking the walk.
    But hey, in the meanwhile, I guess at least I’m allowed to talk.

  13. Dan NO ONE has ever drank frack contaminated water. If solar is so great why do all the people I know say that solar saves them 18 percent on their electric bill. Does not produce on a cloudy day, and they rely on fossil fuels all winter?

  14. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and Dr. Zucker for standing up for the people of New York, by prohibiting fracking.
    There are more and more better documented health risks associated with fracking: tinyurl.com/fracking compendium.

  15. I have been in both upstate PA and the southern tier of NY. I have not seen nor heard of any difference in the environment in either place. Unless you are living in a cave the energy you use comes from primarily from fossil fuel or nuclear. The petroleum comes from despotic governments, women suppressing cultures, fragile ecosystems or fracking. Make a choice and don’t deny mine. No fracking, no taxing. If the property is not mine then why do I pay tax on it.

  16. Fracking cannot be done safely. It forces poisons like arsenic, anti-freeze, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid and methanol into the groundwater. The people who are making money on it claim that it can be done safely, similar to the old Tobacco Industry lie that there was no scientific evidence that cigarettes caused cancer. 85% of the workers come in from other states. If you don’t believe it take a trip to Towanda PA. and ask around. We don’t need fracking now anyway and pretty soon we’ll have renewable energy sources. It’s over frackers. Say goodbye forever!

  17. Barry Messina on

    For Joanne Corey, Patricia Goldsmith, Dan R, Sandy Porter, Better Future, K.Roberts:

    let’s review the difference between facts and assertions, using Wikipedia.

    “Fiction is the form of any work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not real, but rather, imaginary and theoretical—that is, invented by the author.”

    “A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable experiments.”

    Fictional statements made here:
    “Governor Cuomo wisely listened to the science.”
    “There are way more, long term, safer, healthier jobs to be had in the renewables market-”
    “I agree that you were let down in the plans for NYS’ economics, but not because fracking has been banned.”
    “We need to ban fracking as part of a public policy initiative to move to renewable energy. This transition is an unparalleled job creator.”

    Facts: A comprehensive study by the Ground Water Protection Council (“GWPC”) in 1998 that surveyed state agencies responsible for regulating hydraulic fracturing and found no evidence that public health is at risk as a result of hydraulic fracturing.

    The comprehensive Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (a multi-state agency made up of regulators from the oil and gas producing states, including New York) survey in 2002 that determined that while approximately one million wells had been hydraulically fractured since the 1940s, there were no substantiated claims of ground water contamination from hydraulic fracturing.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology released study in 2011 on the potential risks of hydraulic fracturing to groundwater aquifers that found “no incidents of direct invasion of shallow water zones by fracture fluids during the fracturing process have been recorded.”

    In January, 2013 the U.S. Geological Survey (“USGS”) released a study of groundwater samples from a substantial part of the Fayetteville Shale region and again, found no regional effects on groundwater contamination from activities related to gas production. The Fayetteville Shale is similar to the Marcellus and Utica shale’s in New York in that it is a low permeability, low porosity shale formation that must be hydraulically fractured to be economically productive.

    Regulators from Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas advised the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2012 that, based on state investigations, hydraulic fracturing has not caused groundwater contamination in any of those states, despite significant volumes of oil and natural gas production resulting from the process of hydraulic fracturing.

    The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission stated in 2011 that “[i]n over fifty years of oil and gas production, Alaska has yet to suffer a single documented instance of subsurface damage to an underground source of drinking water.”

    Federal government regulators working in the administration of President Obama have also acknowledged that there is no evidence that the hydraulic fracturing has adversely impacted groundwater. On May 24, 2011, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and testified that EPA was “not aware of any water contamination associated with the recent drilling” in the Marcellus Shale. Similarly, Robert Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land Management, stated in Congressional Testimony in 2011 that he had “never seen any evidence of impacts to groundwater from the use of fracing [sic] technology on wells that have been approved by” the BLM.

    EIA Natural gas data for 2013: New York used 1,271,854 million cubic feet, while producing 23,458. That is, NY imported 98% of the natural gas it used in 2013.

    EIA electrical energy sources, data for NY in Dec 2014:
    Natural gas: 45.7%
    Nuclear: 29.2%
    Hydroelectric: 18.2%
    Other renewables: 4.1%

  18. Dr Shaw Shank Reedeemed on

    Dr. Theodore F. Them, Chief of Sayre, Pa Guthrie Medical Group’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine Dept. who has an M.D., PhD in theoretical inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry, and a Masters of Public Health. Dr. Them did research as an environmental analytical chemist specializing in forensic chemistry and has been in environmental and occupational medicine since 1991 who states that he has seen ZERO adverse human health issues after his 18 month study of 9 Marcellus Shale state’s depts. of health and conservation data bases as well as email communications to those states.

    http://yourlisten.com/jlcny/jlc-united-radio-show-12-18-2014

  19. If you think that there was ever a “health study” done, then you are very naïve. This was nothing but political pandering, and New York will drill eventually. So, 34 states are poisoning their environment? Yeah, right. It is easier to climb on the anti-big-oil bandwagon because it’s easier to scare people who know nothing about drilling. Drilling does not change property values, it does not pollute anything, it provides high-paying jobs for many many years. The average well reaps 1 million dollars in royalties alone for the owners of the gas. Look at other states-you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

    New York will come to its senses and drill in the future, and will shake off the lefty, hippie, uninformed, downstate crowd like a bad case of fleas.
    Start grooming your next governor now-and make sure he/she has more than 3 brain cells.