The natural-gas industry is out with its own set of new television and radio advertisements, urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to give the green light to hydraulic fracturing ahead of fast-approaching February deadlines for his administration.
The New York State Petroleum Council—the state branch of the American Petroleum Institute, the major industry lobbying group—began airing the new ads this week, with a radio spot playing in Albany and the television ad airing both in Albany and across the Southern Tier.
Both ads have a similar theme, citing dismal job figures for Broome and Tioga counties—both are in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale region—before presenting shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking as the way to fix it.
“Fortunately there is a solution,” the narrator says. “Safe natural gas development will create thousands of good jobs and millions in revenue for schools, local governments and the state—just like it has across America, including next door in Pennsylvania.”
The ads have a much different message than the one contained in a television spot unveiled this week by anti-fracking organizations. Both sides’ ads try to shine the light on Pennsylvania, where large-scale fracking has been in full swing since 2007. But, unsurprisingly, they draw different conclusions, with the industry ads pointing to economic benefit and the fracking opponents pointing to instances of environmental harm.
Both sides’ ads also end with a pitch to the same person: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose administration faces with a Feb. 27 deadline to finalize a set of fracking regulations or allow them to expire. The Department of Environmental Conservation would likely have to issue a lengthy environmental review by Feb. 13 in order to meet the regulatory deadline.
UPDATE: Martha Robertson, chairwoman of the Tompkins County Legislature, offered up a response to the ad. In particular, she takes issue with the job-creation and tax-revenue claims in the ad and calls on the DEC to take a closer look at some of the strains fracking could put on local governments.
“New Yorkers deserve to know the full picture of what fracking would bring, not just the promises of the gas corporation,” Robertson said. (You can read her full statement here.)
Here’s the Petroleum Council’s TV ad: