New Concerns in the Debate over Hydro-fracking, Natural Gas Drilling

Jan 15, 2014

Sane Energy Project expanding fracking debate

  Some of the scientific community that’s been studying Hydro-fracking for natural gas is trying to broaden the discussion about impacts and expectations.  A series of forums will look at emerging knowledge around gas drilling in Marcellus shale here in New York.  

Cornell Environmental Engineering  Professor Anthony Ingraffea will moderate those discussions.  He says we’ve learned that billions of dollars and thousands of jobs from fracking might be overstated.

“The expectations of how much gas is actually in the Marcellus keep decreasing.  And they decrease because of increasing knowledge borne from increasing experience of drilling in Pennsylvania for example something like 7500 Marcellus wells.  Just because you have Marcellus shale doesn’t mean you have gas.”

Ingraffea adds geologic factors, such as the thickness of the shale formations in New York, further limit the potential. 


Independent Oil and Gas Association ad promoting increased natural gas drilling

Meanwhile the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York continues to push for approval of more gas drilling to boost the economy.  The group also points out New York’s carbon footprint has been reduced by 12% because of increased natural gas use.  The debate over expanding Hydro-Fracking for natural gas can be characterized as New York’s Economy versus health or environmental concerns.  Ingraffea plans to discuss many other potential impacts.

“Now we have to deal with things like pipelines; we have to deal with things like compressor stations, processing units, tremendous amount of transportation of waste products and chemicals.  And we have to also concern ourselves with, if it were to happen, what happens to the gas that comes from upstate?  Is it going to get exported through a liquefied  natural gas terminal that’s going to be built off of Long Island?” 

Meanwhile the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York continues to push for legalizing more hydro-fracking in the Marcellus Shale.  The group and drilling companies want a moratorium lifted.  They say that would bring tens of thousands of jobs.  One forum is Thursday night in New York City, while another is Friday in Oneonta – both hosted by Sane Energy Project.