Submitted by Natasha Pietila
A meeting to discuss the benefits and risks of hydraulic fracturing of the Marcellus Shale in New York was held Tuesday in Katonah in Westchester County.
The meeting was co-sponsored by state Senator Greg Ball (R-Putnam County), Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) and speakers included representatives from environmental groups, an economist, a doctor, residents from Pennsylvania, and Josh Fox, the director the of 2010 documentary Gasland.
But gas industry representatives shied away.
Brad Gill and Michael Doyle of Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York and the New York State Petroleum Council, respectively, stated in a letter to Ball that they feared the hearing would be too one-sided, and would, instead, “look forward to other opportunities to inform an open-minded public about the benefits that natural gas development will have on the state’s economy, employment and environment.”
Ball and his co-sponsors proposed the hearing with the intent of opening up the discussion on hydraulic-fracturing, timed to coincide with the release of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), a report which assessed the environmental impacts of drilling – a preliminary revised draft of which, was released last month.