County Legislature was right to reject fracking

Rep. Chris Collins’ vision that the Erie County Legislature’s 9-to-2 vote to ban hydrofracking on county-owned property is anti-job and anti-business is as far from the truth as we are from the next inhabited solar system.

Anti-job? The fracking industry created fewer than 6,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, and missed its jobs projection by a galactic 82,000. Furthermore, a recently released Environmental Protection Agency report says natural gas production in Pennsylvania is falling 30 percent per year in fracked wells. In a few years, goodbye, 6,000 jobs. The meager hydrofracking jobs are temporary because of the transient methane production from each fracked well and – like all fossil fuels – natural gas is a finite resource, says Stuart Bernstein, chief of Goldman-Sachs Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Group.

Anti-business? Extremely pro-business Goldman Sachs is investing $4 billion annually in renewable energy. Pro-businessman Warren Buffett acquired three of America’s largest solar farms and huge wind farms in Iowa and California, all totaling 1,700 megawatts of clean energy. Pro-business technology giant Samsung invested $5 billion in Ontario, Canada, creating thousands of jobs making equipment necessary for solar and wind farms.

I suggest Collins call Buffett, Bernstein and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne for further details. Kudos to the Erie County Legislature and to Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant for shepherding this bill through the Legislature.

Charley Bowman

Chairman, Renewable Energy

Task Force, WNY Peace Center