Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 29, 2012

HAMILTON: Ecology, fracking, economy and water bills in the balance

Niagara Gazette — Coming out of Scranton, Pa., and on page 8A of Monday’s Gazette was the story “Natural gas drillers target the truck and bus market.” The very interesting article included information concerning not only drilling, but also on the controversial technique of so doing called fracking; and energy production, the environment and the economy should be of a particularly balanced concern to all Niagarans.

Why? Because dispersed throughout many other editions of the paper are articles on the tax increases that the residents and businesses of Niagara Falls are facing — a 3.7 percent at the county level, a 6 percent increase for water and sewer, 8.3 percent at the city level, a potential tax increase for education and schools — and who knows how the state is going to finance the SOS recovery from Superstorm Sandy?

Given all of these factors, then any frack water treatment in the city would merely be lost amongst all of the other deep doo in which we will fiscally find ourselves drowning. And drowning we are, so we have to do something in those same terms of what former House of Representative Speaker Tip O’Neill often said: “All politics are local.”

After all, life is about balance, balance in all things. And I cannot help but to think that when all factors are equal that we would take the one that would most benefit ourselves; and I will let you come to your own conclusions on that. Without laying out the facts themselves, I will describe, and maybe define the factors.

There are those who think that fracking and frack water processing is absolutely and inherently dangerous, and that it cannot be made safe under any conditions; and those people “may” be right. I just don’t agree with very many “absolutes” in life, particularly given the technological progress that we all have seen, even in our own lives.

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