Anti-Fracking NY Pays to Train Soldiers to Work in Gas Industry

This story is deliciously ironic. New York State under man-child Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to allow hydraulic fracturing in unconventional shale deposits, although there is still fracking in conventional wells (see After 6+ Years, Andrew Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York). Cuomo has gone so far as to try and stop important pipeline projects that will flow shale gas from Pennsylvania into New York, like the Constitution (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). So we find it ironic that state funding is now being used in Watertown, NY to offer a free six-week retraining course for active military and veterans, a course that trains them for jobs in…wait for it…the fracking industry. With backing from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council and Department of Labor, the Continuing Education Division at Jefferson Community College (JCC) and the Fort Drum Soldier for Life program are currently hosting “Natural Gas Bootcamp,” a six-week career skills training program, on the JCC campus. We can assure you there is no fracking anywhere near Watertown. The JCC will hold five such training boot camps this year. So Gov. Cuomo’s state-funded Economic Development Council is training workers who will promptly move out of state to get jobs in an industry the state bans. Brilliant…
Continue reading

Watertown, NY Votes to Accept Shale Wastewater in City’s Water Treatment Plant

The City of Watertown, NY has voted to continue accepting wastewater (flowback) from hydraulic fracturing—but it’s not wastewater from the Marcellus Shale. This wastewater comes from a driller in Central New York—Gastem—who is drilling Utica Shale gas wells using hydraulic fracturing. Utica Shale is much deeper than Marcellus Shale and uses much less water to frack the well because it is vertical and not horizontal as it would be with a Marcellus well.

The city’s water treatment plant accepted 35,000 gallons of wastewater from Gastem last summer and discharged the treated water into the Black River. Gastem wants the city to treat an additional 80,000 gallons this summer.*

The volume of wastewater being treated in Watertown is miniscule compared to what is generated from a Marcellus well. But it is interesting that the city council has decided there is no hazard for the citizens of Watertown from treated frack fluids.

* (Apr 7) – Watertown to dispose of gas well fracking fluid