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One More Day to Act: Gas Drilling May Begin in New York Soon

It's down to the final wire for public comments on the proposed regulations to allow for industrial gas drilling and fracking in New York.

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I'm from the Southern Tier of New York, which is financially in a bad situation, and I think this would help us out a lot. The "antis" say that, you know, hey, we can go with strictly organic farming, and tourism, and all that does is give you minimum wage jobs. The claim that only a few people make a lot of money. Well, the other way, even with tourism, only a few people make money.

So, it's something that ... Drilling will benefit everyone. I mean, all ships will rise with this, I mean, because the amount of things that would be developed ... I mean, it's just a cascading thing that will just ... just keep going. Everybody's talking about short-term boom, but in reality what it is, it's going to be, I would say, a minimum of 100-year play.

Artel: Tom Shepstone is the Northeast Marcellus Region Campaign Manager for Energy In Depth, a fracking and drilling advocacy group backed by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the IPAA, that was founded in 2009.

Tom Shepstone: I grew up in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, and I'm also employed as a consultant with Energy in Depth, which is an industry organization, and I've done a lot of planning work in both Sullivan and Wayne, and actually Ulster, Orange Counties, and all that stuff. So, I have a great interest in the development of the area, and I think this is absolutely super-critical to the economy of this area.

We know this can be done safely and responsibly -- there's no question about that -- and we need it and we need it now. This area is dying. It's absolutely dying. Plenty of legitimate people who raise questions, and everybody should in America raise questions -- that's fine. But when I hear the arguments, it always boils down to one simple word: "speculation." There's not a single proven instance of hydraulic fracturing polluting a water supply in 60 years of doing it in this country. There's not one in New York. We've been doing it 60 years in New York. We've been doing hydraulic fracturing 60 years -- not one incident.

And the idea that somehow this is threatening our water is absurd. It's absolutely absurd. There is no evidence to that effect -- no evidence. And the only problems that have occurred have been areas where people have gone in, where they haven't understood the methane migration, and that's been a problem. The few instances has nothing to do with fracturing -- nothing whatsoever -- and those problems have been corrected, and we have here today this casing which demonstrates how you deal with the methane migration, as well as any other problem.

I'm going to introduce you to Chesapeake. So, we know it can be done safely, and we need to do it now.

Artel: Dan Lopata from Chesapeake Energy, the second largest producer of natural gas, was on-site at the DEC hearing in Loch Sheldrake, New York, with pamphlets and a well casing, defending the safety of fracking and drilling.

Dan Lopata: Each stage -- and like I said, there's 12 "stages," as we call them -- each stage takes roughly 500,000 gallons of water, mixed with sand, to fracture the rock, and the sand acts as a ... we call it a "proppant" so that whenever ... The water creates the pressure to crack the rock. The sand follows to go into those cracks so that when the pressure is relieved, sand stays in place, so that crack that's been created cannot close on itself.

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