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Cornell scientists urge state to reduce use of shale gas

Dec 14, 2016 6:30 am

Casey Seiler is reporting at Capitol Confidential Cornell University scientists Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea are urging the state to wean itself from natural gas. Both men have a history of warning about the health and environmental threats posed by the release of methane gas that comes with natural gas drilling. Howarth and Ingraffea spoke to the press at the state Capitol Tue., Dec. 13, on the two-year anniversary of New York's fracking ban. They pointed to recent data showing a spike in methane during the past decade over North America, with the rise in fracking cited as the most likely culprit. “Shale gas is a climate disaster,” said Howarth. He said the state's increased enthusiasm for natural gas has resulted in an 18 percent increase in its use between 2009 and 2014. And, they said, more gas-fired plants are intended to come on line in the coming years. Howarth and Ingraffea said they would like to see state lawmakers end programs that effectively encourage consumers to switch to natural gas, and to aggressively expand the development of hydroelectric, wind and solar power sources instead. Also on Tuesday, Seiler reported, the federal Environmental Protection Agency released a final version of its study that concludes fracking can under certain conditions impact drinking water. Read the full story in the Times Union.

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