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Majority favors hydraulic fracturing if it is ruled safe

  
  The majority of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll favors use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale, a formation extending deep underground from Ohio and West Virginia into southern New York.

  By 57 percent to 43 percent, readers favor the process, with 31 percent endorsing the condition that the state Department of Environmental Conservation conduct a comprehensive review and analysis to determine its safety.

  The Marcellus shale contains a vast amount of natural gas-by some estimates, more than 516 trillion cubic feet, or roughly 500 times the quantity used in New York annually.

  Advances in gas well development technology have made it possible to tap into this resource, much of which is deeper than 2,000 feet. But the process used to extract the gas at this depth-called high-volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing-is controversial. Proponents maintain it is safe, while opponents say the risk of contaminating watersheds is high.

  In December, then-Gov. David Paterson issued an executive order directing the DEC to investigate high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale. Under his order, no horizontal hydraulic fracturing will be permitted until July 1.

  Just 16 percent of Snap Poll respondents say we should prioritize natural gas. The plurality-45 percent-say renewable energy should be the top priority for meeting future U.S. needs.

  More than 825 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Feb. 28 and March 1.
 
Do you favor use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale?
No: 43%
Yes, if the DEC certifies it is safe. 31%
Yes: 26%

In your view, what energy source should be the top priority for meeting future U.S. needs?
Renewable: 45%
Nuclear: 31%
Natural gas: 16%
Oil: 7%
Coal 1%

COMMENTS:
  I’m in favor of smart fracking of shale rock for natural gas. The industry needs to factor in the cost of cleaning up the water and chemicals used in the extraction and then doing it. A little foresight on the part of business would anticipate and remove the need for government intervention.
  -Charles P. Myers, Copywriter @ Large
 
  The hydrofracking process is destroying the water for many people, particularly those with wells. I believe in commerce, but I see large corporations are running right over the small communities and especially individuals with a lone voice. Stop the process now.
  -R. Phelps, Honeoye Falls
 
  If you are not for natural gas, you really need to review your grip on reality.
  -Wally Carmichael, Greece
 
  This is technology with consequences that could be devastating. The potential downside and its irrevocability far outweigh the benefits at this time. We have a stubborn refusal to support sustainability because it moves control from big corporations to individuals. It is just another get-rich-quick scheme, leaving the potential negative consequences to others and down the road. We have better, safer and more sustainable options.
  -Jeff Schuetz,
Mitchell Pierson Jr. Realtors
 
  Are we really that lazy of a state, or just a stupid one? Let’s get past fossil fuels already and move into the 21st century.
  -Michael Hall
 
  We cannot risk contaminating our valuable water. Water is more and more becoming a precious commodity that we need to protect. Renewable wind and solar are the way to go, with nuclear as a strong second. Look at France: They’ve been on nuclear power generation and it works for them. Why not for the U.S.?
  -Mary Lynn Vickers, owner,
  the Phantom Chef PCS
 
  We need to focus first on efficiency. Hydrofracking is crazy. We cannot risk damaging our groundwater.
  -Kate Kressmann-Kehoe
 
  The DEC doesn’t need to determine the "safety" of fracking; it has already been shown by numerous studies that it isn’t. What would a new study show? That we can waste time and money investigating a well-known issue.
  -Scott Ireland
 
  How can we force the use of natural gas for our power plants and not use all means available to produce the fuel in the USA? I feel a tremendous hypocrisy when we drive around, heat our houses, fight wars over energy and then refuse to supply our own needs. I guess we feel our environment is important but other countries’ environments are not. We most certainly should go for our gas deposits in New York State. By the same logic, I support wind farms in front of my house if they work.
  -Larry Peckham
 
  With agricultural land holdings in Livingston County, much of my family is concerned about hydro-fracking. The thousands of gallons of chemicals that are injected under high pressure are reportedly returning to surface wells in places. The nature of the glacial geology in the Genesee Valley increases the potential for these problems. With the majority of rural homes depending on wells for water, this presents an enormous long-term challenge.
  -William Wadsworth Lloyd, Geneseo

3/4/11 (c) 2011 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.Majority favors hydraulic fracturing if it is ruled safe
 
  The majority of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll favors use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale, a formation extending deep underground from Ohio and West Virginia into southern New York.

  By 57 percent to 43 percent, readers favor the process, with 31 percent endorsing the condition that the state Department of Environmental Conservation conduct a comprehensive review and analysis to determine its safety.

  The Marcellus shale contains a vast amount of natural gas-by some estimates, more than 516 trillion cubic feet, or roughly 500 times the quantity used in New York annually.

  Advances in gas well development technology have made it possible to tap into this resource, much of which is deeper than 2,000 feet. But the process used to extract the gas at this depth-called high-volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing-is controversial. Proponents maintain it is safe, while opponents say the risk of contaminating watersheds is high.

  In December, then-Gov. David Paterson issued an executive order directing the DEC to investigate high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale. Under his order, no horizontal hydraulic fracturing will be permitted until July 1.

  Just 16 percent of Snap Poll respondents say we should prioritize natural gas. The plurality-45 percent-say renewable energy should be the top priority for meeting future U.S. needs.

  More than 825 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Feb. 28 and March 1.
 
Do you favor use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale?
No: 43%
Yes, if the DEC certifies it is safe. 31%
Yes: 26%

In your view, what energy source should be the top priority for meeting future U.S. needs?
Renewable: 45%
Nuclear: 31%
Natural gas: 16%
Oil: 7%
Coal 1%

COMMENTS:
  I’m in favor of smart fracking of shale rock for natural gas. The industry needs to factor in the cost of cleaning up the water and chemicals used in the extraction and then doing it. A little foresight on the part of business would anticipate and remove the need for government intervention.
  -Charles P. Myers, Copywriter @ Large
 
  The hydrofracking process is destroying the water for many people, particularly those with wells. I believe in commerce, but I see large corporations are running right over the small communities and especially individuals with a lone voice. Stop the process now.
  -R. Phelps, Honeoye Falls
 
  If you are not for natural gas, you really need to review your grip on reality.
  -Wally Carmichael, Greece
 
  This is technology with consequences that could be devastating. The potential downside and its irrevocability far outweigh the benefits at this time. We have a stubborn refusal to support sustainability because it moves control from big corporations to individuals. It is just another get-rich-quick scheme, leaving the potential negative consequences to others and down the road. We have better, safer and more sustainable options.
  -Jeff Schuetz,
Mitchell Pierson Jr. Realtors
 
  Are we really that lazy of a state, or just a stupid one? Let’s get past fossil fuels already and move into the 21st century.
  -Michael Hall
 
  We cannot risk contaminating our valuable water. Water is more and more becoming a precious commodity that we need to protect. Renewable wind and solar are the way to go, with nuclear as a strong second. Look at France: They’ve been on nuclear power generation and it works for them. Why not for the U.S.?
  -Mary Lynn Vickers, owner,
  the Phantom Chef PCS
 
  We need to focus first on efficiency. Hydrofracking is crazy. We cannot risk damaging our groundwater.
  -Kate Kressmann-Kehoe
 
  The DEC doesn’t need to determine the "safety" of fracking; it has already been shown by numerous studies that it isn’t. What would a new study show? That we can waste time and money investigating a well-known issue.
  -Scott Ireland
 
  How can we force the use of natural gas for our power plants and not use all means available to produce the fuel in the USA? I feel a tremendous hypocrisy when we drive around, heat our houses, fight wars over energy and then refuse to supply our own needs. I guess we feel our environment is important but other countries’ environments are not. We most certainly should go for our gas deposits in New York State. By the same logic, I support wind farms in front of my house if they work.
  -Larry Peckham
 
  With agricultural land holdings in Livingston County, much of my family is concerned about hydro-fracking. The thousands of gallons of chemicals that are injected under high pressure are reportedly returning to surface wells in places. The nature of the glacial geology in the Genesee Valley increases the potential for these problems. With the majority of rural homes depending on wells for water, this presents an enormous long-term challenge.
  -William Wadsworth Lloyd, Geneseo

3/4/11 (c) 2011 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

One comment

  1. You all that propose renewables and getting past fossil fuels need to be prepared for a major shift in your expectations and lifestyles. Renewable is not sufficient to support us in the manner to which we are accustomed.

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