Knowledge is power

From Town of Candor resident Jerry Troeger:

The Gas Question:  Common Sense vs. Controversy

I drink the same water you do and I also have to put food on the table and provide a decent place for my family to sleep.  Day by day, this is getting harder to do. That is why I am doing all of the research I can with an open mind. I, and thousands of other people like me, literally cannot afford to get this wrong.

There has been so much controversy over the inevitable drilling for natural gas in New York State that I have never been satisfied with the media hype and hysteria touted by Environmentalists and Politicians clearly serving an agenda.  It insults my intelligence. No matter where you stand on this important issue, one fact is abundantly clear: people are not being told the whole story and as a result, are being misled.  Negative press concerning Natural Gas drilling is being exploited beyond reason, while any positive facts regarding the process are being suppressed. For example, there IS a viable and safe alternative to Hydro Fracking, yet no one who opposes drilling ever talks about it.

This cutting edge extraction system is a process called “Gas Fracking”.  Gasfrac Energy Systems of Canada ( developed the technology and it is currently in use in Canada as well as parts of the United States. Although mass-scale production of their rigs is still in its infancy, what is currently out there performs as advertised and demand for the new technology is high.  As described by its developers, gas fracking is unique in that no chemically-laden water or potentially contaminating fluids are necessary. This virtually eliminates the possibility of spills, ground contamination and any concerns that our precious drinking water will be directly impacted by the fracking process.  GasFrac Inc. describes their fracturing process as follows:

“GASFRAC Energy Services Inc’s proprietary Vantage LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) fracturing process utilizes gelled LPG in place of conventional fracturing fluids. The LPG is primarily propane, C3H8.  …the process uses NO water resulting in significant savings on material expenses and fracture clean up as well as eliminating waste water streams or inadequate recycling attempts.”

The company further states:

 “As a result, the LPG process results in less damage to formations than conventional hydraulic fracturing. And unlike conventional treatments…virtually 100% of the LPG can be recovered.”

This sounds really good on the surface and when compared to Hydro Fracking and its limitations, such an extraction system should be viewed as a promising solution to a very important problem.  But it is largely being ignored for reasons that just do not make sense to me and to be honest, we owe it to ourselves to learn more about it.  People deserve to know the facts and we should be presented with all available information before being asked to make any decisions, especially one of this magnitude.  Sadly, this does not appear to be the case and that should be a concern to any reasonable person.

Many counties have already passed laws to prohibit drilling, although they may in fact be illegal.  That is for the courts to decide.  But to label other counties that have not jumped on the band wagon as “doing nothing” to protect their residents is inflammatory at best.  I personally have never been one to buy into the “be there or be square” mentality and I will wager that a good number of these ‘outcast’ legislators do not believe in extra-terrestrials either.  Does that make them bad people? Or are they looking at the big picture and wisely reserving judgment until all of the facts are in?

The entire question of whether or not to allow the issuing of drilling permits in NY State cannot reasonably be decided solely upon the one method of extraction or suppositions of impending doom. It cheats people out of their right to a fair and informed decision making process in favor of often skewed media representation and in some cases, even fear mongering.

Eventually we are all going to have to face some inconvenient realities.  New York State, as well as the Federal Government, is broke. Taxes are rising, school budgets are again being slashed and we cannot even afford to repair our roads and bridges. Unemployment is high, foreclosures are on the rise and the costs of fuel and food are skyrocketing.  Many people are already feeling the lint at the bottom of their pockets.  Looking at both sides of the equation, one cannot escape the fact that things are not going to get better by doing nothing.  That’s the cold, hard truth of it all.

Strangling an industry that, when properly and reasonably regulated by the DEC, can be conducted within the margins of reasonable safety,  produce thousands of jobs and potentially millions of dollars in revenue for us and our State, is nothing less than foolish.  We are literally standing on a God-given natural resource that will reap more benefits than most of us realize, yet we are being told to be afraid of it by an agenda-driven group of environmentalists and politicians.  There is little doubt that this is all about the money. Someone is making big bucks on importing fossil fuels at our expense.  Their profit is our loss and there is no reprieve in sight.

Knowledge is power.  It always has been.  To form conclusions based upon half-truths or missing facts is a recipe for disaster. There is a certain amount of risk in everything we do, but the more you know, the better your chances are of making the right choices.

Jerry Troeger