Monday, September 12, 2011

Hydrofracking Report Out, Countdown Clock Begins



From Eco Politics Daily
Submitted by Dan Hendrick on Thu, 2011-09-08 10:51.
With the release of a study of economic and community impacts, the Department of Environmental Conservation officially has officially started the countdown clock on its plan to allow hydrofracking in New York State.
DEC Commisioner Joe Martens has said his  agency's goal is to protect the environment while creating economic  opportunity.DEC Commisioner Joe Martens has said his agency's goal is to protect the environment while creating economic opportunity.The public comment period for the revised draft environmental impact statement began Sept. 7 and concludes Dec. 12.  
Running concurrently with that public comment period, the DEC will also accept input on its proposed regulations governing high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
The fact that these two public comment periods are running concurrently reflects the Cuomo administration's intention to move swiftly with its hydrofracking review. 
The new studies conclude that hydrofracking will produce much-needed jobs: between 4,400 and 18,000 construction jobs and 1,800 and 7,200 long-term jobs. Estimated wages run between $621 million and $2.5 billion per year, while the state government is estimated to receive $24 million and $125 million in new personal tax revenues.
But many questions remain, including the possibility of imposing royalties on natural gas to help pay for the state's cost of regulating the industry. 
Exactly how any gas produced from hydrofracking will fit into New York's energy future and needs also remains a serious question -- in addition to the well-documented environmental concerns.
For now, one thing is certain -- the upcoming four public meetings (dates and locations not yet announced) are guaranteed to be lively.

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The nearest locale for hearings in our area will be NYC. -mg -

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