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October 2, 2012

The economic stakes of NY’s shale gas slowdown

E.J. McMahon

The slow-motion process of developing state regulations to allow natural gas hydro-fracking in upstate New York seems to have reached stall speed, now that Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered up a new health impact review that could force the Department of Environmental Conservation to miss a Nov. 29 deadline for issuing fracking rules.

A June 2011 report by the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Energy and the Environment reviewed the likely economic impacts and reached this conclusion:

If the moratorium [on hydrofracking] is maintained, New York residents not only pay an opportunity cost, in present-value terms, of over $11.4 billion in lost economic output from 2011 to 2020; they lose state and local tax revenues of $1.4 billion and employment levels of 15,000 to 18,000 jobs.

While the process stalls in New York, the Pennsylvania shale gas boom has now spread to Ohio.

1 Comment »

  1. While this may be true (I’m not an economist), it may also save us billions in remediation or, worse yet, serious contamination of whole aquifers. In the mean time, it’s unlikely the gas will migrate elsewhere and will be available in the future when our children may need it to bridge the gap that our generation refused to bridge to renewables…because they discovered a new, cheap source of fossil fuel that they could exploit. Now it’s possible that our children’s population will be greatly diminished as a consequence of the carbon emissions from ‘fracked natural gas, but the process of warming is probably inevitable with or without NY’s shale gas.

    Comment by Robin McClellan — October 2, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

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