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Natural Gas/Oil Shale – How much wealth is New York State ignoring?

Natural Gas and Oil

New York is gradually losing its population as people are trying to avoid paying high taxes. In the year ending on July 1st last year, New York lost more than 48,000 people, resulting in a constantly shrinking population.

In upstate New York, people leave to escape the ever present recession. In Rochester where the poor make up 33% of the total population, the average house price is $75,000.

Economic Irony

It is ironic that when above land, people are facing economic woes, beneath New York lie vast mineral deposits of Marcellus and Utica shale formations.

When properly extracted using hydraulic fracturing (fracking), these formations yield substantial amounts of oil and gas. But fracking is not permitted in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned fracking in New York, probably in hope of gaining favor of the Democratic party. As a result, New Yorkers are unable to exploit the wealth they are sitting on and many who live on the border with Pennsylvania commute for work in the Keystone state.

Drilling and fracking is required to extract shale hydrocarbons. This can definitely cause some disturbances to the land but it is minor compared to the wealth that can be harnessed.

There are great geopolitical benefits of fracking. As US oil and natural gas production increased in the past ten years, the energy balance of trade improved a lot.

As US energy production increased, world energy prices decreased. The dependence of US on far off oil producing countries reduced dramatically. Texas is the booming center of the refining and petrochemical industry today.

Governor Cuomo’s Lack of Vision for New York

Governor Cuomo has plans to invest in wind and solar energy to meet New York’s energy demands. But New York has way less wind potential than other Midwestern states.

Its solar potential too is about 30% less than that of other sunny places in the southwest. This will cause even higher prices of green energy in New York compared to other places with favorable climate.

Investing in wind and solar power in New York won’t really give any serious returns. Wind and solar installations exist here just because there are large subsidies which cover almost 70% of the costs.

People With Lower Income are Suffering

It is those in the lower income groups who suffer the most because they have to face economic and environmental injustice due to a policy that deprives them of the affordable, clean and dependable natural gas.

People have to tackle more problems as now there are moratoriums in place that prohibit new gas hookups required to help the population develop economically.

Andrew Cuomo decided to direct New York’s economy himself but he has denied the city economic revival that can stem from natural gas extraction. Only Matt Damon would smile at that! Oh, and AOC!

Benjamin Roussey's picture

Thank Benjamin for the Post!

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