The Kooky Things Anti-Drillers Say

wood pelletsAn excellent commentary in today’s New York Post by Abby Wisse Schachter addresses the fear mongering and just plain kookiness heard from anti-drillers. From the opening:

New York state just announced another delay in what has become a more-than-four-year process to approve widespread natural-gas drilling. Over that time, the state has lost tens of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of business — and the opposition to drilling has only gotten more entrenched and radical.

Gov. Cuomo should not be swayed by such hysteria.

An Oct. 6 New York Policy Forum panel on gas drilling is a case in point. At it, Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan participated in a discussion of hydro-fracking, the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock. He argued that New York doesn’t need natural gas to power its economic future.

“You can do other things … You can save so much energy just by switching to wood pellets,” Ryan claimed. “If you combine that with retrofitting all the rural properties … you’ll produce thousands of jobs.”

Wood pellets. What century does Ryan think this is?*

Wood pellets. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Unfortunately, MDN editor Jim Willis had to live for years under the mayorship of the incompetent Matt Ryan, finally fleeing Binghamton when it became clear that Ryan and the all-Democrat Binghamton City Council were driving the city into the ground (and driving up taxes and fees on everything). Ryan’s wood pellets comment is just one small example of his underwhelming intellect.

Later in her article, Schachter says:

Ryan wasn’t even the most extreme voice. Former New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Albert Appleton put it simply: “Gas fracking is the mortal enemy of green energy.”

Mortal enemy? Natural gas is a green energy. Burning cleaner and more efficiently than oil or coal, it doesn’t emit as much greenhouse gases and is cheaper. Now that we can cost effectively extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale, which sits under West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York’s Southern Tier, it is plentiful. So plentiful, in fact, that the federal government estimates that natural gas could provide all of the nation’s energy needs for more than 100 years — maybe more.*

As Schachter (and MDN) point out, the continued delay in drilling is costing tens of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefit for all of New York. Enough is enough. Time for the delays to stop. And time to send elected officials who don’t serve all of their constituents (like Matt Ryan) packing.

Be sure to read the rest of Schachter’s excellent commentary by clicking the link below.

*New York Post (Oct 28, 2011) – Anti-drilling hysteria