By Sarah Zappulla
Widener University Environmental Politics and Policy Student
The town of Dryden, located in New York, is a quiet space full of farms and ranches. However, in August 2011, the town passed a zoning law that bans fracking after a long time of lobbying against it. The ordinance created a lawsuit being looked over by the Court of Appeal, the highest court. The ruling will settle the issue of being able to drill or not. Fracking is increasing significantly; other places have created bans against fracking causing legal action to up rise. The passing of these ordinances and lawsuits of hydraulic fracturing is going to define the future of oil and gas industries in New York.
Local governments are taking a stand and putting in time and effort to stop fracking. The State Health Department has gotten involved with the issue. A study was ordered by the Department of Environmental Conservation to guide decisions on fracking. People who support hydraulic fracturing believe a new industry can be introduced creating more jobs and decreasing the unemployment rates. On the other hand, others especially environmentalists know the impacts on watersheds and aquifers are not good due to the water use and release of chemicals released into the ground.
Recent polls show that 43% of voters oppose fracking and 38% approve. There still have been no decisions about fracking. This can be a result of next year’s second term elections. If you look at hydraulic fracturing as a great economic booster, then it benefits NY. However, is that short-term economy booster worth the long-term environmental effects?