Share this Post:

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

From Idyll To Drill—A Catskill Travesty

    SIGN-UP for our latest news and action alerts:
   Please leave this field empty

Facebook Fans

Related Blog Entries

by Trip Van Noppen:
My Window Seat To America The Threatened

“If you want to see the places we’ve helped protect, ask for a window seat.” So reads my favorite Earthjustice message, decorat...

by Maria Beloborodova:
The Top 10 unEarthed Stories of 2012

Blog posts about Earth's magnificent places and creatures were the most popular themes for unEarthed readers in 2012. By far the most-read post concer...

by Trip Van Noppen:
The Earth Needs YOU This Election Season

After the summer we have had, my mind is on climate change, what more Earthjustice can do about it, and what’s at stake in this election. I exp...

Earthjustice on Twitter

View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
28 July 2009, 1:19 PM
Imagine how drilling will alter the landscape of this special patch of earth
Photo: USGS New York Water Science Center

This piece from New York Times editorial writer Verlyn Klinkenborg on proposed gas drilling in the Catskill mountains of New York pulled at my heartstrings. To date, much of the criticism of the drilling proposals has centered on the risk to drinking water. And rightly so: while drilling for gas, companies inject millions of gallons of chemically treated water into the underground rock deposits to force the gas to the surface. The technique, known as hydraulic fracturing (or hydrofracking), can poison drinking water supplies as well as put a strain on water resources.

But Klinkenborg takes some time out to walk the riverbanks of the East Branch of the Delaware River and imagine how drilling will alter the landscape of this special patch of earth. How it will turn a small clearing in the woods into an industrial landing pad for drilling equipment. Or a simple gravel fishing path into a byway for heavy machinery.

The full piece is here.

Full disclosure: I grew up in the Catskills and have walked these same riverbanks. Plus, I get terribly nostalgic for the pastoral paradise of my childhood during a sweltering summer in the city. But who doesn't?

Another casualty in this rush to exploit prices for natural gas is less tangible: Klinkenborg describes how gas companies have divided neighbor against neighbor, with some folks holding out when the company reps come calling, only to watch as their neighbors, one-by-one, cash in on the promise of riches. This squares with many of the reports we've heard from the field. It's quite sad to think of how the fabric of these communities is unraveling as kind of a gloomy predecessor to the impending physical destruction.

Sigh. One thing's certain: life is getting a lot more complicated for folks in the idyllic haunts of New York's Catskill Mountains.

This brings to mind a very interesting article I read about last year in New York Magazine, called "The New Natural Gas Rush"

I wonder if the drop in oil prices might have temporarily put a damper on everything?


How right you are!

Thank you for seeing the forest through the trees.

We do need to be aware of the sometimes foolish action to help the environment by harming the environment.

I look forward to your writing a similar piece about the same absurdity going on regarding industrial wind power.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <p> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.