The Business Council opposes this legislation that would restrict and limit the use of hydraulic fracturing fluids used for oil and gas drilling in New York. This would amount to a de facto moratorium on all hydraulic fracturing stimulation until the Department of Environmental Conservation adopts new rules and regulations, putting on hold all oil and gas drilling in this state.
This bill is unnecessary. All elements of the drilling process currently come under strict regulation and are open to public review. The Department of Environmental Conservation has been working on its Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) for more than two years which calls for specific details of the component chemicals to be used in the drilling process.
Hydraulic fracturing has been safely employed in New York for over 60 years under the regulatory oversight of the DEC. The Department’s ongoing and long-standing regulation of hydraulic fracturing has proven sufficiently protective of groundwater resources and will continue to be protective under the enhanced permitting requirements proposed in the SGEIS.
Hydraulic fracturing is a proven technology that has allowed natural gas producers to safely and economically recover natural gas from deep shale formations across the country. It is vital to today’s shale gas revolution, which is reducing reliance on foreign oil, lowering air emissions generated by dirty coal, and vastly increasing America’s supply of clean natural gas.
Thousands of horizontal wells have been drilled across the United States with hydraulic fracturing without contamination. Our neighbor to the south is a testament to the success of this drilling. Economic revitalization is underway across Pennsylvania’s northern border.
This proposal would amount to a suspension on drilling that would delay economic development opportunities, which will drive jobs and economic growth for many financially strapped communities and provide extraordinary end use savings for customers who burn clean, abundant and domestically produced natural gas.
Natural gas production will yield extensive new job opportunities, provide increased state and local tax collections and boost local economies and provide long-term growth particularly to the Southern Tier, an area in desperate need of economic growth.
We encourage DEC to begin permitting these wells and policing New York’s production operations. Only then will New York achieve its long-term energy security goals, its environmental compliance objectives, and economic opportunities that are sure to follow natural gas development.
For these reasons the Business Council recommends against approval of this bill.