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Letter: Fracking contributes to economic growth

Fracking contributes to economic growth

The letter to the editor on Aug. 11 asks why hydraulic fracturing is so controversial. Unfortunately, he doesn’t provide an accurate answer.

This 70-year-old process was made into a controversy by those who chose to misunderstand the science behind its development as well as its local history. There are thousands of producing natural gas wells in New York State. Most wells drilled after 1947 were hydraulically fractured and within the past 10 years, technology and innovations have made this process safer and more productive.

A more compelling question is this: Why are groups like the Food and Water Watch and its offshoot, Western New Yorkers Against Fracking, spreading unfounded, ill-informed fear?

The letter writer is encouraging towns to enact local bans on hydraulic fracturing as a means to affect state legislation. What he is actually banning is economic prosperity. While Western New York doesn’t sit over the Marcellus Shale, this region has benefited from indirect business opportunities created by shale gas drilling in our region. Because of shale development, Welded Tube USA chose to locate in Lackawanna last year and Alitta, another steel production company, will also locate here, and have created manufacturing jobs for New Yorkers.

“Symbolic” legislation, like the bans in Buffalo and Amherst are pyrrhic victories at best and support a NIMBY attitude. North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas are among the 30 states that welcome shale gas drilling and have suffered no ill effects to people or natural resources.

For Western New York communities, supporting natural gas development quite simply means jobs and opportunity. Volunteer-managed environmental groups don’t create jobs nor do they contribute to our state’s economic growth.

John Holko

Owner, Lenape Resources