New York State Democratic Party Chairman Says Risks from Marcellus Drilling are “Minuscule”

New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs wants to see hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale in New York State begin. From today’s New York Post:

Gov. Cuomo’s state Democratic Party chairman says, "Drill, baby, drill" when it comes to controversial "hydrofracking" to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation on the New York-Pennsylvania border.

And party leader Jay Jacobs, a successful summer-camp owner, has a financial interest in having the drilling take place — although he insists that it has nothing to do with his support for the hotly contested activity.

Jacobs says he’s signed a contract with, and received per-acre upfront money from, energy giant Hess Corp. to drill on some 140 acres of land at his Tyler Hill summer camp, just over the border from New York’s Catskill Mountains.

Jacobs, who annually hosts hundreds of kids at Tyler Hill and two other nearby Catskills camps in New York, called the risks from hydrofracking "minuscule."

While Jacobs told The Post he’s never talked with Cuomo — who will soon decide whether to give hydrofracking the go-ahead — about the issue, he said his own study convinced him it’s the right thing to do.

"Many things that we do in modern society have the potential to destroy the environment, and we can’t stop doing everything because of minuscule risks. It’s when those risks become significant that we have to stop," said Jacobs.

"My belief is if we can extract natural gas, which is a cleaner form of energy, from our land, reducing the import of foreign oil and the cash flowing out of our country, and make for cleaner air, improve the economy and not damage the water, I’m for it," Jacobs continued.

"We have to be rational here, not emotional. If it’s going to destroy people’s water, I’m against it, too. But I’ve been led to believe that there are definite ways if you do this right not to destroy the water."*

*New York Post (Aug 1, 2011) – Dem Party boss’ great frackin’ deal