By Paul Bisceglio
Following the completion of a Department of Environmental Conservation environmental impact study, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to decide this week whether or not to allow natural gas companies to extract gas by hydro-fracking, a drilling technique that blasts a high-pressure mix of water, chemicals and other materials deep underground to crack open rocks.
New York is sharply divided over the issue. Many towns have enacted temporary moratoriums on fracking, while many others have passed resolutions supporting it, the Wall Street Journal reports. Cuomo is anticipated to allow drilling to begin on a limited basis in the latter towns along the Marcellus Shale, a gas-rich underground rock formation in southern New York that extends out to Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
Proponents of hydro-fracking argue that the technique would help to bolster the state’s economically depressed region by generating tax income for local governments and creating 15,000 of jobs, according to NPR. Pennsylvania, for instance, has experienced a natural gas boom in the past decade by allowing high-volume fracking.
Opponents worry about the practice’s environmental costs. They argue that blasting chemicals deep into the earth threatens small town groundwater supplies. Celebrities including Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney and Alec Baldwin have banned together to fight fracking in the state, and over 1,000 demonstators marched to the Capitol on Monday to make their voices heard.
Check back for updates as Cuomo prepares to announce his decision.
Trackback from your site.