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

  • Anonymous

    Pro drillers should be lobbying Cuomo for the IMMEDIATE ouster of Mr. Martens. He has been totally ineffectual in leading the DEC to release the 2SEGIS in a timely manner (2+ years and he still wants to delay it!!) If he wishes to blame the other departments of government, he should have, at the least, demanded his boss (Gov. Cuomo) mandate a time line for these ofther branches to have their studies done by the release date of the SGEIS (Dec. 12 2011). His failure to do this has cost OUR state BILLIONS of dollars. Any person who makes mistakes in the BILLIONS needs to be replaced IMMEDIATELY. Govoner Cuomo I know your staff reads this daily. You should heed this message, the buck stops with you. You appointed Mr. Martens and now it is time you replace him !!!

  • The New York Post? Seriously? This rag is not exactly a beacon of journalistic probity. Just like every other NewsCorp media outlet, the Post never met a fact it couldn’t distort. 

  • Anonymous

    “time to send elected officials who don’t serve all of their constituents packing.”
    YES! The ones who think a tiny minority of their constituents should be able to profit at the expense of everyone else. Just wait til November 8 and you’ll see who is sent packing! 

  • Anonymous

    At a meeting in Marathon N.Y. on Oct, 27th, Nick Schoonover of Tioga Land Coalition confirmed what I posted recently. Instead of useless hand wringing ,why not spread the  word  LPG fracking  in New York State could begin immediately without waiting for the new hydro-fracking regulations. Gasfrac’s system DOES NOT fall under the hydro-fracking moratorium.MOST IMPORTANT TO LANDOWNERS is the fact that LPG fracking produces one third more royalties than hydro-fracking [ check the literature]. Gasfrac’s 1000 plus fracks with LPG in Canada and Texas as well as 2 trial wells in Penn. and a recent long term contract with Husky Oil confirm the many advantages it has over hydro-fracking.Lacking only a drilling partner in New York State with the resources to get started [Gasfrac is still a small company], publicity and pressure are needed to get things rolling. Even one fracking set from the company could frack dozens of multi-stage wells in the first year.

  • Anonymous

    In Texas, the drought (in its third year) is hindering fracking since they need 13 million gallons of water to open a single well there.  I know conservatives often point to God’s hand behind the weather – perhaps this is God’s way of trying to stop fracking?  Think deeply about it…

  • Anonymous

    I have to,once again, hand it to the anti’s on their successful manipulation of truth as applied to fracking technology.  They’ve talked themselves and a bunch of their neighbors into ignoring one of the most bountiful economic gifts ever in favor of “wood pellets”.  Maybe the wood pellets could be harvested from state and federal forests for the good of mankind?  Then the anti’s could have a new cause:  Stihl and Husqvarna… 

  • Anonymous

    “What century does he think this is?”

    Hm, I don’t know, maybe one in which WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF ACCESSIBLE FOSSIL FUELS? Think about it. Why would we be looking for natural gas in the first place, when doing so is more costly than acquiring traditional oil used to be, if we weren’t running out of the stuff?

    “…underwhelming intellect.”

    …If I didn’t know better, I’d think the person who felt they had to resort to this ignorant (and arrogant) ad hominem were referring to himself.

    If you refer to opinions you don’t like the sound of as “kooky”, you shouldn’t be taken seriously.

  • You’re welcome to your opinion, and I do try to avoid ad hominem attacks–really. It’s just that I’ve watched and put up with Matt Ryan for so long, living under his mis-leadership, that frankly I think I have the right to say what I think–that he’s not very bright. And he needs to be tossed at the next election. My fellow Binghamtonians obviously didn’t agree with me, and I moved.

    As for running out of fossil fuels, do you really believe that? Really?? We’re likely to have enough fossil fuels to power the next 200 years here on planet earth, even with another few billion people added to the population. And by that time, technology will come along to provide the answer for future generations. By all means let’s keep innovating and looking for renewables–but renewables by themselves are not the answer right now and won’t be for the next 50 years at least. That’s cold, hard reality. Anything else is fantasy.