THE BLOG
09/05/2014 10:01 am ET Updated Nov 05, 2014

Why I Oppose Fracking

New York has a growing tourism industry based on scenic beauty, clean water, and unspoiled nature. Small family farms and ranches are making a comeback. Our new breweries and wineries are gaining worldwide recognition. They all depend on our clean pure water. Fracking would destroy all that.

When I am Governor I will ban fracking for shale gas in NY State. Fracking is far more environmentally destructive than conventional gas drilling. It poisons many millions of gallons of fresh water as each well is blasted and then injected with a toxic soup of secret industrial chemicals to release the tiny bubbles of gas trapped in the rocks a mile or more down below the ground. Many tens of thousands of fracking wells are planned. Each site spreads a mile or more horizontally underground, so even if landowners don't sign a contract with the drillers, their land can be undermined and contaminated by their neighbor's drilling pads.

Why should we accept the ecological damage from shale gas drilling and pumping stations -- the certain contamination of precious, irreplaceable fresh water supplies, the massive air pollution, the noise, the wholesale transformation of healthy, desirable rural landscapes to industrial zones, and the threats to the physical health of people who live in drilling areas?

Although the chemical additives themselves remain "confidential proprietary information," some of the toxins identified include diesel, benzene (a known carcinogen), ethylene glycol (automotive antifreeze), formaldehyde (another known carcinogen), kerosene, various salts and ammonia compounds, and pesticides. Besides these chemical additives, the shale naturally contains heavy metal salts, lead, mercury, and radioactivity, all of which comes back up from the drilling pads as waste. This stuff needs to stay a mile down where it can't hurt us.

Many of these toxins are known to be harmful at very small doses, particularly for children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems. And many harm the nervous system, brain, respiratory system, gastrointestinal organs, skin, and eye. Many are known to cause cancer, birth defects, developmental problems, reproductive disorders, immune system damage, kidney problems, cardiovascular and blood disease, and death.

Forests, farms, and residential developments would be destroyed by fracking. A vast network of new roads would be need to be cut, and heavy truck traffic would clog rural roads. The cost of repairing and maintaining the roads would be a crushing burden on small townships. Worse yet, it is a boom-bust industry. The drill crews pack local motels and restaurants for a short while, then move to the next operation, leaving a wake of toxic mess in their path.

Fracking probably causes earthquakes. This is a documented fact. The grand claims of financial benefit are overblown. Frustrated and disappointed fracking operation leasers are left with devalued, poisoned, sometimes worthless properties, and little or no ongoing revenues from their quickly depleted wells.

Unlimited, sustainable, wind, solar, geothermal, and small-scale hydro power technologies are workable now. I would expand government sponsored efficiency grants and affordable subsidized loans to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. There is no need to poison New York State for the benefit of gas companies that come here from Texas and other places to make a buck in our beautiful home.

Vote for me, Randy Credico, and I will do what Andrew Cuomo will not do. I will ban fracking. I will work to make sure our energy future is secure, sustainable, affordable, and environmentally sound.