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A New Yorker's Guide to Industrial Gas Drilling

The town of Dryden, NY has earned a spot in the national conversation about fracking.

The town’s story of fighting back against the fracking industry—and winning—was spotlighted on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry Show this weekend.

With her friends and neighbors at home cheering her on, Dryden resident Deborah Cipolla-Dennis made the trek from her quiet rural home to Rockefeller Center in mid-town Manhattan to share the town’s story.

In a hearing, today, lawmakers on Capitol Hill probed the health and environmental impacts of a gas drilling boom fueled by the controversial gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Using this technique, companies blast millions of gallons of chemically treated water into the earth to force natural gas from underground deposits.

Natural gas has been touted as a more responsible energy source than coal in the face of climate change, but a new study conducted by researchers at Cornell University argues otherwise.

The study, which is scheduled to be published in the journal Climatic Change Letters, argues the advantages that gas produced from fracking has over coal are offset by the fugitive emissions of methane gas.

Hundreds of New Yorkers from all over the state traveled to Albany today to warn lawmakers about the dangers of fracking.

I was one of them.

Fracking is a controversial method of gas extraction that involves blasting millions of gallons of chemically treated water into the ground. Across the country, gas production using fracking has been linked to contaminated drinking water, exploding wells, mysterious animal deaths and other unsettling incidents.

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but secret gas drilling chemicals don’t belong in drinking water.

That’s exactly the kind of sentiment that makes it very inconvenient for Dick Cheney’s buddies at Halliburton who want to use secret chemicals to extract gas from the earth – a controversial method known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”

You see, the pesky Safe Drinking Water Act kept getting in the way. So they asked for special treatment from Congress. And in 2005 they got it.

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