I am the State Committee Member for the Green Party of New York State, representing Delaware County; and a member of Chenango, Delaware, Otsego Gas (CDOG).
[Extemporaneously: Is the DEC staff still here? Are you awake to hear this? The People are speaking, and it’s clear that Halliburton’s process is not drilling they can believe in.]
[While holding up a copy of the dsGEIS, displaying the last page, Page 42]: Alternative Actions Section 7.0 (1) “the prohibition of development of Marcellus Shale and other low permeability reservoirs by horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing” is very appropriately placed, there at the bottom of the last page, where a conclusion belongs… and it [pointing to 7.0 (1)] is the conclusion the DEC should have.
I’m not going to talk here about technicalities.
I’m here to both ask and answer some fundamental questions.
Is horizontal well drilling water fracking necessary?
No! No, it is not. That high-volume high-pressure water fracking is not necessary. Its purpose is to quickly maximize private short-term corporate profits, while externalizing the long-term costs to the public… privatizing the temporary gains for a few, while spreading the permanent losses around to everyone else; with a corrupt legislature ignoring later consequences because it gets a “taste” too, in a very temporary injection of revenue… leaving future generations with yet another costly mess for them, that our generation has created.
Just because water fracking can be done, should it be done?
Our society condones natural sexuality between consenting adults, but we forbid pedophilia. likewise, the provision of a greener fuel (natural gas) is something entirely acceptable, but the practice of removing fresh water (our most precious and most needed resource) from the natural water cycle, by making toxic waste out of enormous quantities of pure water, should be, as pedophilia is, absolutely forbidden.
Can regulation make water fracking acceptable?
If a father’s sexual molestation of his child is wrong (an evil act), when it is done unseen by anyone else, it isn’t made good (a blessed sacrament) by having police provide official approval, permitting it on condition that they, the police, can join in the father’s depravity, by occasionally peeking in his window to watch.
Is New York City exceptional?
If water fracking is not safe to be done within one watershed, it is not safe to be done in any watershed.
What is the best use of land?
The traditionally agricultural soils of the Southern Tier, above the Marcellus Shale, are currently undergoing a transition toward a relocalization of sustainable organic food production, which constitutes the best use of what remains of agricultural land… especially for this agricultural land, which, if not environmentally molested, is blessed with a reliably replenishable water supply, that does not exist in most of those places where unsustainable over intensive industrial agribusiness has located. Those places are running out of water. A proliferation of toxic waste producing shale gas drilling here is absolutely incompatible with that organic food production, which is needed to provide a sustainable and actually healthy source of food to eat. We can produce clean food here, or extract gas dirty, but we cannot do both.
Must we use up all the fossil fuels ourselves, or should we leave some to our children?
In the last 100 years, half of all the oil on the planet has been used up… the easy to find and easy to get half. The remainder will be gone, fully depleted, within a few decades. The just as mindless as a metastasizing cancer energy extraction industry’s goal, in its new “Energy Independence” push, is to quickly use up all the other available fossil fuel as well… to get it all, and to burn it all, as fast as possible.
If we cannot now turn stone into gas, without also converting massive quantities of potable water into poison, then we should have the ecological wisdom to leave that gas way down there where it is so tightly trapped, until some future generation can find a truly environmentally sound means of collecting it. We should leave that resource to our children to be retrieved and used more responsibly by them, than we — the Greediest Generation — are capable of now.