Nearly 200 people were estimated to have been in attendance at a hearing Aug. 23 that centered on the issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and whether it should be allowed in New York.
A number of state senators, including Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who represents much of central Westchester, were joined by a dozen environmental advocates at the hearing in Katonah that was hosted by state Sen. Greg Ball, R,C-Patterson.
The hearing was organized in response to the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s July 1 draft supplemental generic environmental impact statement that the state moratorium on fracking be lifted.
At stake in the debate over whether to allow fracking in New York is the potential for more than $11.4 billion in economic output, $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue and the creation of as many as 15,000 to 18,000 new jobs, all over the next 10 years, according to a July report by the Manhattan Institute.
However, opponents say fracking, which involves the high-pressure fracturing of underground shale deposits in order to get to the natural gas deposits below, will add to air pollution and could threaten water supplies in the vicinity of drilling sites.
“My general feeling is that we’ve got to do everything we can to create jobs but we can’t do it at the expense of our drinking water and our environment,” Ball told the Business Journal earlier in August. (ARTICLE)