Arcuri Supports Truth in Fracking, Gillibrand Does Not
There’s good news and bad news for those residents of Ulysses who want to know how natural gas drilling could affect the quality of their drinking water.
Part of the process of natural gas drilling is something called fracking (hydraulic fracturing). Fracking forces a fluid into bedrock at high pressure, opening up cracks in the rock and allowing natural gas to escape. What that fluid is, however, no one really knows – except for the people at Halliburton who make the fluid. Independent analysis of areas where fracking fluid is believed to have spilled have found some very toxic chemicals, but currently, Halliburton enjoys a special legislative loophole that allows it to ignore environmental laws, and keep the contents of fracking fluid a secret.
In the House and Senate, the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009 seeks to close this loophole, requiring the disclosure of the toxic chemicals in fracking fluid to people living near proposed natural gas drilling sites.
The good news is that Michael Arcuri, who represents Trumansburg in the U.S. House of Representatives, has cosponsored the legislation, giving it his public support. The bad news is that appointed U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has declined to do so. That’s particularly disappointing, given that one of Kirsten Gillibrand’s political strengths was supposed to have been that she is able to represent the interests of people living in Upstate New York.
If Gillibrand continues to ignore the growing concerns of people living atop the Marcellus Shale, she may find herself surprised in 2010 by some upstate resistance to her effort to gain the Democratic Party nomination for New York’s junior U.S. Senate seat.