Niagara Gazette


May 7, 2011

Start drilling lawmakers about hydrofracking

NIAGARA FALLS — A key issue that state lawmakers will soon face — probably by mid-summer — is hydrofracking, the  controversial process of drilling for natural gas.

That process is basically injecting high-pressure water, sand and some chemical additives into wells. The force of that blast is designed to separate the rock fissures so the gas may flow freely from the drilled bore.

At present, the most valuable source in this region is the Marcellus shale that lies some 7,000 feet beneath more than 20 counties in New York state. One of the richest deposits is in northern Pennsylvania.

The issue has even sparked a front-page article in the Western New York Catholic, the monthly newspaper for the eight-county Buffalo Diocese, under a headline, “Hydrofracking Goes Against Church Teaching.”

In the newspaper article, reporter Kathleen Johnson notes the diocese opposes the process because it is feared that serious health effects could lead to infertility, thyroid disorders and child and adult cancers because of the exposure to chemicals.

Viki Ingersoll, energy manager for the diocese, said: “I’m opposed to it unless someone can supply compelling evidence that this is our only alternative and that it will be done in a way that doesn’t cause any environmental impact.”

State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, who has been generally supportive of the proposal, is hesitant to endorse the idea at least until the state Department of Conservation releases its latest findings. The DEC has been further studying the situation in the wake of some strong opposition.

Maziarz, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, said he visited hydrofracking operations in Tioga County in Pennsylvania, and was virtually stunned by the impact on employment. “It has created thousands of jobs,” Maziarz said.

In coffee shops and roadside diners, he heard numerous truckers admit they were making lots of money because of the crews drilling through the Marcellus shale to recover the gas deposits.

“The job creation is fine but we must also be sure that whatever we do (in the drilling process) that it’s done in an environmentally safe way,” the senator added.

Meanwhile, the bloggers are out in full force, many of them citing the long-term cost to the environment, the risk of toxic run-off, chemicals washing into streams and rivers, harm to the fishermen, boaters and swimmers. One writer contends that if hydrofracking is permitted, it would mean raping thousands of acres in Allegheny State Park, a jewel in the statewide parks system.

 Amidst all the tumult and shouting over the need to explore alternate energy sources, it will be interesting to see how the state lawmakers address this issue.

A vote is likely by mid-July so you still have time to convey your thoughts to the lawmakers in Albany.


ACROSS THE BORDER: Brian Merrett, chief executive officer of the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council, said Friday the region of Niagara has applied for a federal grant to have Niagara declared “The Cultural Capital of Canada — 2012.”

The competition has apparently narrowed to Calgary and Niagara as the finalists. “If that happens, we’ll have an opportunity to receive a substantial amount of funds from the federal government,” Merrett said, “And our opening ceremony (for the War of 1812 commemoration) is part of that application.”

Merrett said he was confident the Niagara region would be selected for that special funding.


HOOF NOTE: Overheard at the OTB parlor: The ticket-selling clerk pleading for an answer, “Lady, you have to tell me. Do you want to bet this horse for win, place or show?

“Yes,” the first-time bettor replied.

Contact reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: A closer look at Spirit Airline's DOT numbers This last week, there were articles published highlighting that Spirit Airlines has the highest DOT customer complaint rate among US airlines.

    April 18, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editorial: Let's go Buffalo! It could be a whole lot of sweet nothings being whispered in our collective ears, but talk about a Buffalo Bills stadium in Niagara Falls, has us chanting "Let's Go Buffalo." Already there are doubters all over town, who just don't want to get their hopes up. We're hearing people say they're reminded of the time those developers of the Mall of America flirted with the Falls when they were shopping for a location for their super mall. They eventually chose another city, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    April 16, 2014

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page