The NY Times reports that Chesapeake Energy (“America’s Champion of Natural Gas, as their web site says) does not plan to use its leases to drill in the NY City watershed.  They quote the CEO of Chesapeake Energy as saying

“We are not going to develop those leases …, and we are not taking any more leases, and I don’t think anybody else in the industry would dare to acquire leases in the New York City watershed,”… “Why go through the brain damage of that, when we have so many other opportunities?”

Brain damage?  Hmmmmm.  Does that mean they don’t want to have to think very hard?  This could be telling.  If they don’t want to think hard, does this mean they aren’t going to think and work hard on their other endeavors, many of which pertain to protecting the environment?

New York State has been working on rules for this drilling for some time, as we have been discussing at Environment Memo. As the Times article goes on, in discussing some of the concerns

Hydraulic fracturing pumps huge volumes of water laced with chemicals like benzene into the shale to break it and release the natural gas. The process has been linked to contamination of water wells and the death of livestock exposed to potassium chloride, one of the chemicals used.

One big issue is the companies maintain a claim of confidentiality about the chemicals they inject (although apparently Chesapeake Energy is trying to get the data out).  This probably won’t stand, as people have the right to know what is going on.  As we have shown here, it will  not be possible, anyway, to keep secret the chemicals they use that end up in wastewater discharges, so they really do need to start throwing in the towel, as it were. But it probably won’t happen before their outside attorneys bill them for a lot of hours.


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