President Obama’s rosy picture of natural gas as a miracle fuel does not stand up to the facts. Not only is there no scientific proof that fracking can be done safely, but the Department of Energy’s just-revised gas estimates contradict President Obama’s promises about natural gas as a pathway to energy independence; there is simply not enough gas to expand our dependence on the fuel in a meaningful way. The new DOE report slashed U.S. domestic gas estimates by 42 percent, from 827 tcf to just 482 tcf—less than 20 years worth of gas at current rates of consumption. If we continue to increase our use of gas for electricity, manufacturing and transportation, we’ll have only a few years’ worth of gas.
A central New York town can block natural-gas drilling after a state judge, in the first test of local laws, upheld the Town of Dryden’s ban on hydraulic fracturing.
State Supreme Court Judge Phillip Rumsey in a ruling released yesterday said the town’s zoning amendment on gas drilling wasn’t pre-empted by state law. Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corp. sued in September, seeking to overturn the ordinance, which bans gas and oil exploration in the town about 200 miles (322 kilometers) northwest of Manhattan.
“This is the cleanest river in the United States, and if they go through with this, it’s going to be a massive industrialization of New York,” he said vehemently. “People have no idea what they’re in for.”