by Alex Birsh
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — The subject of hydraulic fracturing has been in the forefront of many news briefs across the country, and the topic was a hot one on the second floor of the Mount Kisco Public Library on Thursday thanks to Senator Greg Ball.
Ball, who represents the 40th District in New York, spoke of the dangers of what is generally referred to as “fracking,” and how he hopes to warn New Yorkers about the possibility of it entering New York. After a recent trip to Pennsylvania, which displayed the practice’s dangers, Ball arrived in Mount Kisco with pictures and information to show to interested locals.
Fracking, which is done in more than a handful of states around the country, is the process of cutting through layers of earth, stone, and shale to receive fossil fuels like natural gas and petroleum. A fluid is injected into the rock to create a pathway to the fuel. The process has been a controversial topic because of the chemicals in the injected fluid that go into the earth and into a water source.
A few examples of damage created by fracking were shown from his trip to Pennsylvania, including a stream that had been used as a dumping site for chemicals. Ball notes that one of the bigger crimes by the state was to not allow for strict regulations.
“By Pennsylvania environmental standards, because of the high flow of water in that river, they’re able to say, ‘Well, it’ll be diluted downstream,’” Ball said. “That’s a perfect example of how they moved forward, they fracked, and never put the proper regulations in place and they’re just now working to do that.”
One of the bigger crimes from the government standpoint is that money has been the biggest influencer in the fracking debate, instead of science.
“The problem with fracking is the problem with politics in the USA. And the problem is, absolute power and big money corrupts on both sides of the isle,” Ball said. “Those people love it when we point at each other…as if we’re the problem.”
Ball said that he believes fracking, whether the residents want it or not, will be heading to New York, and he hopes that the regulations can be enforced on the practice so it can do the least harm. In the mean time, Ball hopes that the residents of New York can get educated.
Harry McCartney is a historian of Mount Kisco who holds many sessions around the area, including at the library.
“I came out, because it’s been related to the program I’m running, and it has to do with the value of place,” McCartney said. “If you understand the value of a place, you would never allow this kind of thing to happen.”
Mount Kisco Trustee Jean Farber agreed, and hoped that those who attended became motivated to help the cause against it.
“I think residents need to be educated, aware what is a possibility,” Farber said. “And if they get really interested, they can get their friends to tell their friends to tell their friends, and that’s how things can get done.” (ARTICLE)