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More towns need to enact laws banning hydrofracking

Why is hydrofracking such a controversial subject? Actually, it’s a no-brainer. Each fracking well uses millions of gallons of fresh water, which is coming from the water that is available for our use. Less water means greater demand and higher prices. So up go our water bills. Further, poisonous chemicals are added to the water.

Most of the natural gas that is pumped from these wells will go global, seeking the highest price. China will pay double. Europe is a great demand opportunity that will be taken advantage of. The scarcity caused by this exodus of natural gas will cause our prices to go up.

Then there’s the chance of pollution. Who’s absorbing all of the risk? We are. Who is getting all of the reward? The companies involved in this stealthy process.

In 2011, the Town of Dryden in Tompkins County and the Town of Middlefield in Otsego County amended their zoning ordinances to include a ban on hydrofracking by including wording that prohibited heavy industry and oil, gas or solution mining or drilling. In 2013, the Third Appellate Division in Albany upheld the ordinances. On June 30, the state’s highest Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the lower court.

As I understand it, the governor and the State Legislature can either amend current laws or enact new ones to override this decision. So the number of towns that amend their zoning ordinances to include a ban on hydrofracking will help our elected officials make the right decision.

Franklin J. Battaglia

Batavia