Hydraulic fracturing should be approved as long as the positive outweighs the negative

To the Editor:

This is in response to Anita Marrone’s letter that appeared in The Enterprise on Nov.21.

I would like to applaud Anita Marrone and Diane Sefcik and others for their civic efforts and concerns regarding hydraulic fracturing in Westerlo and the surrounding areas. Albeit, I am writing this article to reprove some of their reasoning.

Ms. Marrone stated that Ms. Sefcik and her husband put themselves at risk by traveling to a hydraulic fracturing area to see what it’s all about. As I recall from a previous letter in The Altamont Enterprise, Ms. Sefcik stated her eyes burned, there was a terrible smell, and she felt ill.

My question is what scientific evidence does Ms. Sefcik have that hydraulic fracturing was the cause? I hunted an area in Pennsylvania about 30 years ago and found the same foul odors. This was due to the high sulphur content in this area; it had nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing.

Further, the statement made by Mr. Marrone that “drilling can possibly wind up going under the ground to or through your property,” is erroneous. Nobody can go under your property without your permission; that right cannot be violated, save by agreement

I firmly believe that the state of New York has the total responsibility and necessary resources to investigate the effects of hydro fracturing. This, of course, must include all health issues as well as the impact on community infrastructures and aesthetics. Then a unified set of regulations should follow.

Finally, the above must be tempered with reason. By that I mean there will always be some negative effects regarding fracturing. As long as the positive outweighs the negative, it should be approved.

If you don’t agree with this reasoning, I would suggest you read the warnings and negative effects of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Even aspirin and penicillin have warnings and some negative impact.

Bill Kowal


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