The group Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy said today it is mailing a brochure to Southern Tier counties that could be allowed to conduct hydrofracking, saying they want to warn residents about the risks associated with the controversial drilling practice.
Fracking has been on hold in New York since 2008, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to make a decision as soon as next month when a health review is completed. If it moves forward, the majority of the drilling would occur in the Southern Tier—which sits above the gas-rich Marcellus Shale.
Business groups say the drilling would be a boon for the struggling regional economy and dismiss the health risks, saying it would properly regulated.
“Creating jobs, generating millions in revenues for local schools and the state, and saving family farms and lifting whole communities—those are facts that makes safe natural gas development the inevitable choice for New York,” said Karen Moreau, the executive director of the state Petroleum Council.
Environmental groups say the risk isn’t worth it.
“Governor Cuomo hasn’t leveled with New Yorkers, so no one can predict exactly when or where high-volume hydraulic fracturing may be introduced in the state, but one thing is already clear: politically powerful constituencies like New York City will be given a measure of protection that won’t be extended to rural communities,” the Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy said in a statement today.
There has been speculation that if fracking where to be allowed it would on a limited basis in the counties of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga. The New York City watershed that runs through Catskills would be off limits.
The group said it’s mailing this brochure to 190,000 houses.