at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference
State must take lead on drilling
|Natural gas burns cleaner than oil and coal. We should extract it in an environmentally responsible way and under contracts that protect our land.|
But, as Elmira lawyer Chris Denton said, gas company contracts are "designed to help them in every way possible and to make your life miserable." The state must provide minimum contract language requirements that protect the landowner.
We also have to keep our water and air pure. However, the 2005 Energy Act exempted gas drillers from the Clean Water, Clean Air and Safe Drinking Water Acts. That is why I'm calling for an immediate moratorium on leases and drilling for natural gas.
Let's look at what these land-men leases don't tell us:
*what our communities will be like with a gas well every mile;
*what the drilling process entails;
*that these wells require millions of gallons of water;
*what chemicals they're mixing in the water;
*what companies will do with this water mixture after drawing it from wells;
*that there is no guarantee that aquifers won't be affected;
*that neither the state Department of Environment Conservation nor the federal Environmental Protection Agency is regulating these water issues;
*that local road damage will be the taxpayer's problem;
*that buried gas lines will run through properties; and
*that leases may hurt our ability to sell our property
Environmentally safe extraction can deal with these problems, but the state Legislature leaves it up to us to protect ourselves and our land. We also need to know where natural gas extraction fits into our long-term energy independence plan. Unfortunately, our representatives haven't made informed decisions that protect our interests; instead, they've decided in favor of the gas companies. As your next state senator, I will do better.
Barber is town of Caroline supervisor and a candidate for state Senate in the 51st District.
posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 8:37 AM - permanent link
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