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New fracking data is cause for alarm

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo rightly turns his attention to climate change in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, scientists are sounding alarms that allowing fracking would directly contradict any concern he may be showing for our planet’s future.

New data from researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that methane leaks from fracking occur at an alarming rate – twice as high as industry estimates. This is scary because methane is about 100 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over 20 years.

But perhaps even scarier is the fact that the director of the department within the state DEC that would oversee the scientific integrity of any fracking plan is an admitted climate change denier. Bradley Field, director of the DEC Mineral Resources Division, is a public signatory to the Global Warming Petition, which states that there is “no convincing scientific evidence that human release [of greenhouse gasses] is causing disruption of the earth’s climate.”

That Cuomo would entrust such a vital scientific responsibility to someone who publicly dismisses science is a travesty, and it calls into question Cuomo’s oft-stated promise that he would “let the science decide” in his decision on fracking.

Virginia Snider

Sierra Club Niagara Group

Williamsville