By Chip Northrup, No Fracking Way
Or, What the Frack Really Happened ?
An Overly Simplistic Explanation of Why New York Did Not Get Fracked
We can summarize why fracking was prohibited in New York with a simple construct – the cost/ benefit ratio – what the environmental risks and economic costs would be to the state and it citizens vs the benefits of shale gas industrialization. Initially, this ratio appeared to be tilted very much in favor of fracking – at least in the popular press and in the corridors of power – because the gas industry had grossly overstated the benefits of shale gas development while categorically denying the risks and collateral damage associated with fracking.
Note too that the political cost / benefit for the Governor was almost always in favor of fracking – given his purported political ambitions. Meaning it is entirely possible that he prohibited fracking to the possible detriment of his own ambitions. This is of course, exactly the kind of politician that deserves to be in office, the courageous ones.
Since at the outset of the debate, there were few peer-reviewed studies on the hazards, the benefit of the doubt on the risks went to the frackers. The media was dependent on the industry regarding the geology, so the industry exaggerated and said the shale would support tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenue annually. Continue reading A (very) Brief History of the New York Frack Ban Movement