What can New Yorkers expect if high-volume hydrofracking is permitted here? A team consisting of a geologist, a systems analyst, and two retired oil and gas execs reviewed data from 2700 Pennsylvania gas wells. The analysis shows that the highest yields are where shale is deepest and thickest. But the Marcellus shale gets thinner and shallower rapidly as it crosses the border into New York, leading to predictions of significantly less production and debunking the industry’s claims of wealth creation. If the wells don’t produce, there’ll be no tax revenues and no royalty checks for drillionaire wannabes.
So does that mean we can all relax and forget about fracking ever happening here? Hardly. While these results may alleviate the anxiety of some homeowners more than if the news had predicted rich, gushing gas wells, these results bring with them a whole host of worrisome scenarios: Deadbeat shale won’t stop the crush of pipelines and other destructive infrastructure, and wildcat odds are likely to attract the worse sort of corner cutting driller. Even more worrisome: If New York’s wells don’t produce, drillers may see them as the perfect opportunity for injection wells. (What’s an injection well? It’s burying the frack waste underground, a process linked to water contamination and earthquakes.) And risks from radioactive and toxic drill cuttings getting dumped in New York landfills; water withdrawals; silica transport and storage at Schlumberger; and road brine spreading in several counties, are all ongoing current problems.
On January 16th in New York City, and on January 17th in Oneonta, the team of four experts will present their findings and take audience questions. Moderated by Professor Anthony Ingraffea. Presentations by geologist Brian Brock, systems analyst Jerry Acton, oil and gas experts Chip Northrup and Lou Allstadt. New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street, 6:30–9 pm, Doors open 6:00 pm, Suggested Donation of $5-10 benefits Ethical Culture, an institution with a long history of supporting environmental causes. Share the facebook event.