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Kozub Seeks Ban on Fracking in Erie County

Filed under: Environmental, Erie County

Erie County zLegislator Dan Kozub is pushing for legislation that would ban hydrofracking throughout Erie County.

In a press release, Kozub says, “I have heard a number of experts testify that the potential for the risk to our fresh water supply is too great for the small reward of extracting natural gas. Our fresh water supply in Erie County is one of our greatest assets and we need to take our stewardship of this natural resource very seriously.  I believe an outright ban on hydrofracking in Erie County is a good first step.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. of of the Waterkeeper Alliance posted a good essay of hydrofracking on Huffington Post last week. Consider these arguments, which are among those that Kennedy says curbed his enthusiasm for natural gas as a bridge from coal and oil to renewable energy sources:

  • For example, releases of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas, may counterbalance virtually all the benefits of CO2 reductions projected to result from substituting gas power for coal. Robert W. Howarth, Renee Santoro, Anthony Ingraffea, Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations, Climatic Change (2011); Wigley T. (2011) Coal to Gas: The Influence of Methane Leakage. Climate Change Letters. DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0217-3.
  • The human health impacts of gas extraction on local communities may rival those associated with coal. A new study by Centers for Disease Control finds that breast cancer rates have dropped in every county in Texas, but have increased in the six counties with the heaviest natural gas air emissions.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey just slashed its estimate on the amount of gas in the Marcellus Shale by 80%, raising doubts about all the industry’s positive economic projections about jobs, royalties, and revenues. Industry based those projections on resource estimates that the federal government has now jettisoned.
  • Meanwhile local communities are finding the costs of irresponsible drilling to be ruinous. Contaminated well water, poisoned air, nuisance noise and dust, diminished property values and collapsing quality of life are often the predictable collateral damage of gas shale development in the rural towns of the east. Barth. The Unanswered Questions About the Economic Impact of Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale: Don’t Jump to Conclusions. March 2010. Accessed 8/10/11; Christopherson & Rightor. How Should We Think About the Economic Consequences of Shale Gas Drilling? May 2011. Accessed 8/10/11;Stephen G. Osborn, Avner Vengosh, et al., Methane Contamination of drinking water accompanying gas wells drilling and hydraulic fracturing, PNAS Early Edition, April 14, 2011; Riverkeeper, Fractured Communities (Sept. 2010),
  • In a devastating admission, the industry now acknowledges that it absolutely cannot afford to pay localities the costs of roads damaged from the thousands of truck trips per wellhead, leaving those ruinous costs to local taxpayers, many of whom will see no benefits from the shale boom, but only declines in their quality of life.
  • With several notable exceptions, like Southwest Energy, the industry has demonstrated a disturbing fervor for secrecy while advocating regulatory policies that favor the most irresponsible practices and the worst actors.

  • Chester

    Can AV find out and publish the positions of the various candidates for Co Legislature on this issue?