Monday, April 22, 2013

What You Should Know

By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York


   You should know that hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, is a process used to extract natural gas from underground shale formations.  It involves drilling thousands of feet below the earth's surface and pumping chemicals, sand and millions of gallons of water at high pressure into a well. When the shale shatters, the gas rises up into the well. There are currently 30 states in the United States where hydraulic fracturing is used.

You should also know that the Marcellus Shale formation stretches from the western part of New York State to Pennsylvania, and is a tremendous resource for natural gas.  There are many pros and cons about fracking this region of New York State, and I'd like to share some of them, today.

The pros of fracking include New Yorkers no longer having to be held hostage to and relying upon oil from the Middle East. Marcellus Shale is believed to be the largest known deposit of shale gas in the United States America.  Fracking in New York would bring natural gas - cheap energy  - to the market. New Yorkers could finally be energy independent.

Natural gas produced by fracking is a cleaner energy source - much cleaner than coal mining. If gas displaces coal, then fracking will be good for the global environment.

Jobs would be created and provide help for New York's economically depressed areas. Between 2009 and 2011 there were 72,000 shale jobs created in Pennsylvania.

The cons of fracking include serious concerns about the environmental impact in New York. These include how drilling and extraction will affect the air and water quality, truck traffic, and industrial accidents.

We have all heard the voices of high-profile celebrities who oppose fracking while claiming to be environmentalists, saying that we need to do more with less. If we take a closer look at some of these outspoken actors and artists, some who are quite wealthy and never have less, I have to wonder if they are just trying to ban progress.

You should know that while I support efforts in New York State to utilize solar, wind, and tidal resources, and while I share the concerns of those who oppose hydrofracking in New York, I strongly believe that if we make sure that our environmental regulations are prepared for the hydrofracking industry, and if we can control the air and water impact of fracking, it will be fine.

If it is safe, let's do it!

This is Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.
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