Hydrofracking is a simple technology that has opened a vast natural gas resource for development.

New York's anti-hydrofracking crowd would have us believe that this technology will ruin our water supplies. The pro-fracking side tells us that it's safe, and will boost our economy. Each side is partially correct. So why is hydrofracking so controversial?

New York state already has thousands of natural gas wells, and nearly all of them have been hydrofracked. As far back as the 1960s New York's drillers would "frack" new gas wells by injecting a mixture of water under extreme pressure to fracture the rock, sand grains to prop the new fractures open, lubricants such as diesel fuel to make the water flow more easily, and toxic chemicals to prevent microbial growth.

Without hydrofracking the natural gas would stay embedded in the shale and not flow into the wells.

New York's gas resource will be developed: It's just too big to ignore. With gas prices low we lose nothing by going slow and making sure we have all the regulations and oversight in place.

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