Wednesday, December 23, 2009

UPDATE 2-NYC urges ban on shale gas drilling in watershed

While I am pleased that the dangers of hydraulic fracturing are being highlighted by the uproar in New York City, I think it leaves the rest of us wondering, What about our watersheds? Yes, contamination in the NYC watershed would impact millions of people, which is why it has gotten such widespread attention; however, smaller communities all over the country are also at risk of, or have experienced, water contamination due to hydraulic fracturing. Is the health of my neighbors and children less important than the health of people in NYC? The answer is no. Everyone has a right to clean water, regardless of where they live. We simply lack the number of people to draw the same kind of attention and concern. That being said, here is an excerpt from an article about banning drilling in the NYC watershed.

Drilling called 'unacceptable threat' to drinking water

* Industry says shale drilling completely safe

By Edith Honan

NEW YORK, Dec 23 (Reuters) - New York City urged state lawmakers on Wednesday to ban natural gas drilling in its watershed, saying the process used to extract the shale gas threatened the city's drinking water.

Shale gas trapped deep underground is considered one of the most promising sources of U.S. energy, and the biggest city in the United States has joined environmentalists and small-town neighbors of drilling operations in trying to limit its exploitation.

The drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," involves blasting through rock with a mixture of water, sand and a proprietary list of chemicals that are used to split the shale formation and free trapped gas.

"Based on the latest science and available technology, as well as the data and limited analysis presented by the state, high-volume hydrofracking and horizontal drilling pose unacceptable threats to the unfiltered fresh water supply of nine million New Yorkers," the city's acting Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, Steven Lawitts, said in a statement. More>>>