Sunday, December 21, 2008
Is drilling for natural gas a good idea?
Upstate, the push by energy companies to explore drilling under a broad swath of western and southern New York State have provoked alarm and protest among environmentalists and others.
But in New York City, opponents say that city residents and leaders have been slow to react, despite New Yorkers’ stake: not only do many have weekend homes, but the area under consideration for drilling includes the watershed that supplies most of the city’s drinking water.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has made the environment a focus of his administration, has yet to weigh in publicly on the issue.
The City Department of Environmental Protection has held off taking a position until it hears from a consultant it hired to analyze any threats that drilling may pose to the water supply.
But [Councilman James] Gennaro, environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and others are calling for an outright ban on drilling in the million-acre watershed. They say that such operations represent an inherent risk to the water, which is so pure that it does not require filtration before arriving in the taps of more than 8 million people in the city and another million residents in Westchester and other counties. Any contamination, they note, would require the investment of billions of dollars in a filtration plant and would result in higher water rates.
Proposed Gas Drilling Upstate Raises Concerns About Water Supply