Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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June 25th, 2010

Hydrofraking can be detrimental to Sullivan County

Thank you to the Sullivan County Legislature for placing a ban on gas drilling on Sullivan County property. I wish property owners with hopes of striking it rich would do the same.

Gas companies with only one motive are using the best bait possible to achieve their goals. They are waving money in the faces of Sullivan County property owners and wannabe Jed Clampett’s are lining up.

Before any drilling begins, we must be certain beyond a reason of doubt that our environment and infrastructure will not be damaged. I am convinced drilling for gas or hydrofracking as they call it as currently proposed would be detrimental to Sullivan County.

Despite what gas companies might say, the research and evidence is there that hydofracking contaminates water. Documented incidents from Colorado to Texas to West Virginia to nearby Pennsylvania make clear that the dangers and fears of hydofracking are very real.

Legislator and State Senate candidate David Sager who heads the Public Works Committee and is an outspoken voice on the dangers of gas drilling told me it is important that State Officials listen to Sullivan County’s concern on the issue.

“The simple fact is that gas drilling is a form of mining, yet there is more local control over soil, mineral and stone mining than there is presently for gas hydrofracking. This is just plain scary, especially in a state that prides itself on home rule.”

Legislator Jodi Goodman who hosted an open forum on the complex issues of Gas Drilling said the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has to “take us seriously and they needed to weigh in on environmental concerns such as water pit not having liners, trucking controls of hazard waste, and neighboring vertical draw of gas”

The Sullivan County Legislature’s measure halts gas drilling on County property “until such time as the potential long-term, cumulative and indirect environmental and public health impacts are adequately addressed and appropriate mitigation measures are identified.”

It should also be noted that Congressman Maurice Hinchey has also urged Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to bring his Fracking Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act up for debate and a vote in the House.

Hinchey’s bill would close a loophole created in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which he voted against, that exempted hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The FRAC Act would require the oil and gas industry to disclose the chemicals they use in their hydraulic fracturing processes. Currently, the oil and gas industry is the only industry exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico should be a wakeup call to all of us on the potential dangers of hydrofracking.

Clearly an across the board moratorium is needed until all the facts and figures are in on gas drilling in Sullivan County. There is too much at stake here, and our safety must be guaranteed before a few landowners strike it rich.

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