Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Homeowners sue hydrofracker over poisoned drinking water

There is plenty of debate in New York about hydraulic fracturing (known as hydrofracking) in the southern part of the state. Fracking is a form of drilling which fractures the rock underneath the surface of the Earth to release natural gas. Supporters say that the hydrofracking industry would create countless jobs in southern New York. Opponents claim that the procedure has been shown to be a several threat to clean drinking water.

The non-partisan, non-profit journalism organization Pro Publica has covered this issue quite well (its excellent articles on the topic can be accessed here). It includes some pieces of the hydrofracking industry’s strident opposition to any sort of transparency.

Recently, the city of Buffalo became the first municipality in the state to ban the procedure. The vote was more symbolic than anything, given the city’s location, but opponents hope it triggers a loud wave of opposition to the dangerous procedure.

Many newspapers such as the Watertown Daily Times and Glens Falls Post-Star have editorialized for a ban on hydrofracking.

Nine homeowners in Elmira, near New York’s border with Pennsylvania (where fracking has been pursued with reckless abandon), have filed a lawsuit against a Colorado-based company claiming it was negligent in its drilling, construction and operation of two [hydrofracking] gas wells in Big Flats and that the company’s actions resulted in contamination to nearby water wells.

As government officials in Albany consider how to deal with the industry, they should remember that jobs and easy money are of little use if it destroys something as basic and fundamental as drinking water.


semi234 said...

I may disagree w/ the the pompous lecturing of the many of the Post-Star's editorials but I'm pleased of their position on this issue.

I'd be curious as to how their hydrofracking position would compare &/or contrast w/ the recent proposed (or is it a request?) nuclear power plant in Washington County.

Brian F said...

They editorialized against a nuclear plant as well.