The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Gov. Paterson Should Veto the Fracking Moratorium

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted November 30, 2010

The New York State Assembly passed a measure placing a six-month moratorium on hydraulic fracturing late yesterday. The state Senate passed the ban in August, and now the legislation will go to Gov. David Paterson for his signature.

API's Chief Economist John Felmy today urged the governor to veto the ban. "Blocking important natural gas development and the creation of new jobs and revenues is not sound energy or economic policy. New York continues to struggle with an economic crisis, and natural gas should be part of the solution to the state's economic problems," John said.

A recent study shows natural gas development in New York's Marcellus Shale region could generate more than $16 billion in economic output, nearly $4 billion in additional tax revenue, and more than 180,000 jobs in New York by 2020. If Gov. Paterson signs the bill, hydraulic fracturing could not be used to produce the state's natural gas until at least May 15, 2011.

Meanwhile, other states are enjoying the economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing. In North Dakota, where the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are unlocking oil deposits from the Bakken Shale formation, the unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation.

Furthermore, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is crediting the development of shale gas with raising U.S. natural gas reserves to the highest level since 1971 and greatly improving U.S. energy security.

"Shale gas development drove an 11 percent increase in U.S. natural gas proved reserves last year," said EIA Administrator Richard Newell in a news release, "demonstrating the growing importance of shale gas in meeting both current and projected energy needs." Newell added, "Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania were the leading states in adding new proved reserves of shale gas during 2009."

Shale gas development requires hydraulic fracturing. In fact, it's estimated that about 80 percent of all natural gas wells drilled in the next decade will need hydraulic fracturing.

More information about horizontal drilling and fracking, as well as their importance to America's energy security, is available at API.org.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.