Gas extraction by high-volume, slickwater, hydraulic fracturing is a heavily industrialized process that in other states has caused significant water, air, and noise pollution, severely snarled traffic and damaged roads; and increased accidents and crime rates.
If pursued in New York's shale deposits, gas drilling would harm tourism, hunting, fishing, agriculture, and our local economies. Gas companies can force unleased neighbors to allow drilling under their land through compulsory integration. Instead, we should pursue energy conservation and sustainable sources of energy. We also should support community and state initiatives to help local farmers pursue sustainable farming methods that are economically viable.
Serious concerns like these from New Yorkers should be fully heard as New York State officials discuss their drilling regulation proposal. NY lawmakers and more than 70 local and regional groups have requested a 180 day public comment period so that there is enough time to weigh the complicated rule proposal. In addition, the Department of Environmental Conservation should hold public hearings in different parts of the state so that citizens can have their voices directly heard in a democratic process.
As I advocate for my area, Binghamton, NY, to enact a local ban on hydrofracking, please join me in also asking DEC to hold public hearings in Binghamton and in other impacted areas throughout New York State so our voices can be heard.