Saturday, November 7, 2009

Levine Questions Drilling In New York Daily Star

Attention is drawn to gas drilling up North, specifically in New York. There's been heated debate, finger pointing and eye gouging. Important questions were raised by the Daily Star and answers were given by Harry Levine of Advocates For Springfield.

The Daily Star: ``Do you support existing and proposed state and federal regulations for gas drilling, and if not, how should they be changed?''

Levine: ``Our answer is a firm `no.'

Levine continues to state that gas drilling is exempt from, "all or parts of the clean air act, clean water act, comprehensive environmental response act, compensation and liability act, CERCLA (the Superfund), resource conservation and recovery act, safe drinking water act and others." Levine then asks his own question: "What possible reason gives rise to all these exemptions, especially to an industry that has a direct and proximate conflict with our air and water?"

Very good question, Mr. Levine.

Levine recounts that the state of New York has done what the feds have done and that is to exempt gas and oil despite warnings from the DEC. Right now, New York State only employs 14 DEC inspectors which is in adequate considering the current level of vertical gas wells. How will there be enough staff to supervise and monitor these new projects?

Why are local governing bodies turning a blind eye to this? That's like the old commercial of the bull walking through the fancy glass store with all of us just hoping that he doesn't break anything. Do we really expect the oil and gas industry to self regulate? To protect our interests? The bottom line is that they're only going to protect their bottom line.

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