Standing next to a giant map of the gas-rich rock formation spanning several four states and two Canadian provinces, GOP Senate candidate Wendy Long touted the potential of the Utica Shale and used it as an opportunity to knock her Democratic opponent.
Long, a Manhattan attorney, criticized Gillibrand for not taking a strong position in favor of hydrofracking, the controversial method used with drilling to extract natural gas from shale formations. Much of the attention in New York has focused on the Marcellus Shale, but Long pointed to a report last week from the U.S. Geological Survey that found the Utica may have 38 trillion cubic feet of “technically recoverable” natural gas.
“The potential of the Utica Shale and the Marcellus Shale to revolutionize the economy of New York, to bring back jobs, to give us a strong economy, to get manufacturing going in this state again, is unprecedented,” Long said at an Albany news conference. “The scale is unprecedented.”
The Utica Shale spans nearly all of upstate New York, aside from the North Country.
High-volume hydrofracking — necessary for exploiting the gas reserves in the shale formations — has been on hold in New York ever since the state Department of Environmental Conservation launched an environmental impact study in 2008. Long wouldn’t criticize Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the delay — she said he was under an “enormous amount of pressure” from Gillibrand’s “celebrity supporters” — but said Gillibrand isn’t doing enough to stoke the upstate economy.
“Meanwhile, my opponent walks across the state with phony, so-called ‘jobs’ bills that are nothing more than spending a few more taxpayer dollars and not even getting any more certain jobs,” Long said.
According to The Associated Press, Gillibrand spokesman Glen Caplin “would not comment on what he called conspiracy theories from a struggling campaign.”
(AP File Photo)