By YUUKI REAL, age 12
On January 9, 2013, thousands of protesters in Albany, New York pressured Governor Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing—a.k.a., “fracking”—in New York State. However, Cuomo argues that fracking will bring an energy and much needed economic boost to upstate New York. “There have been decades of decline in upstate New York. When you look at the job growth in upstate New York, it is sad and troubling,” Cuomo stated in Ben Wolfgang’s article in Washington Times.
New York State, along with Pennsylvania, parts of Ohio, Maryland and West Virgina are on top of a large rock formation rich in natural gas, called the Marcellus Shale. The gas contained within the rock is a lucrative (producing a great deal of profit) resource because it is an energy alternative to oil and coal. But is natural gas cleaner fuel? The process of hydraulic fracturing is a method of drilling a hole deep through shale rock and then blasting a combination of toxic chemicals and sand through the hole, causing the rock to fracture and release natural gas.
Critics argue that fracking contaminates air, land and water. Marcellusproject.org reports, “Wherever Marcellus development has come to Pennsylvania, reports of poison water, sick kids, and dead animals have followed.”
A 2011 study by Duke University found that methane, a flammable gas released through fracking, is 17 times higher in water wells near fracking sites. Josh Fox’s documentary Gasland showed families whose tap water had been spoiled by a local fracking site, causing their water to turn into flames when a match is lit.
What can New Yorkers do to stop hydraulic fracturing in their state? Call Governor Cuomo at 1-866-584-6799 or 518-474-8390 and tell him to ban fracking.
- The movie GasLand by Josh Fox. The official website is: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/