At least for now. My local paper reported this morning that the New York State Assembly has voted in a bill placing a 2-year moratorium on hydrofracking the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations to allow officials enough time to study impacts of the practice on health and the environment. Hooray! The Senate has yet to approve a similar bill, but supporters are hopeful.
I live on the outskirts of Finger Lakes wine country. My husband and I love taking day trips to the various wineries, both for their products and the heart-stopping scenery. What would become of this beautiful region if hydrofracking were allowed? Imagine the potential harm to the water supply that nourishes the grapes and surrounding farmlands when fracking chemicals seep into the groundwater. Consider, too, the effect on the local economy as vineyards and tourist dollars dry up. Vintners and local farmers and artists who sell their products in vineyard gift shops lose valuable income. Are oil and natural gas profits worth the risks to this fragile region? I think not. Cheers to the state government for thinking of the downside.
The issue of clean water is bigger than we are. Sacrificing local economies and our health and that of our children and grandchildren for the purpose of feeding our appetite for oil and natural gas in the short term doesn’t teach us to respect the Earth’s gifts and conserve for the future. It merely reinforces the slash and burn attitude of modern man.