The state is diverging from the national trend.
Ken Silverstein is Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Contact him at email@example.com.
When New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to permanently ban the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, some may have been deluded into thinking that the state would diminish its use of natural gas. Not so. In fact, New Yorkers will continue to be prodigious consumers of the fossil fuel, albeit it will come largely from Pennsylvania via a new pipeline that has been constructed.
"The obvious hypocrisy is horrendous," says Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York. "There's a misconception that because New York has banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing that suddenly New Yorkers won't be using fracked natural gas."
The natural gas will come mostly from the Marcellus Shale and Utica basins. But it will come also in much smaller amounts from inside New York State, which has been using hydraulic fracturing to capture conventional natural gas since 1947, he adds - all by the same companies that have proposed the high-volume fracking. Conventional deposits are much easier to access than unconventional shale gas.
New York, of course, is situated in the Marcellus Shale region that holds an estimated 141 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas - perhaps the richest deposit in the country and certainly the one that is most heavily produced. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are tapping into those wells, which in turn are pouring millions of dollars into their local communities.