Does anything divide the residents of the New NY 23rd Congressional District more sharply than Hydrofracking?
New York State’s DEC is wisely taking her time reviewing if, and how, we can safely extract natural gas through hydraulic fracturing. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also taking time studying the possibilities of safely extracting natural gas through the controversial fracking method. We all should realize when the DEC and/or EPA finally officially announce their findings there will be law suits and court cases before any drilling will take place.
With that being said….I read articles this week describing how Rep. Tom Reed is involved with two economic proposals featuring fracked natural gas. Rep. Reed already has plans for the gas he assumes will be produced. Is he counting the barrels before the drilling starts?
Project 1–Domestic Use Of Fracked Gas
House Manufacturing Caucus
“Americans Back To Work”..”A Game Changer” … “Manufacturing Renaissance”
Rep. Reed has just been named Co-Chair of the House Manufacturing Caucus, which is a bipartisan work group that aims to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and help employers put Americans back to work. In a press release which is on his web site, Reed directly connects the development of Natural Gas to the goals of the Caucus. He declared that harvesting Natural Gas locally is a major factor if industries decide to develop in our district or not.
“I continue to hear from our local manufacturers that high utility and transportation costs are a major factor when making long-term business decisions. Our region has been blessed with plentiful natural gas reserves and manufacturers will play a key role in developing those resources. We can lower energy and transportation costs for everyone and really have a manufacturing renaissance in the United States.”
“Shale gas is a game changer that will strengthen the American economy for decades to come.” He tells us that relatively inexpensive natural gas will not only provide a cheap, constant fuel supply for manufacturing, but provides the resources for dozens of products as well. Rep. Reed reports, “A new $1 billion gas fracking facility north of Pittsburgh will produce $10 worth of byproducts for every $1 of natural gas coming into the plant.”
Project 2– Exporting Fracked Gas
“Exporting LNG Overseas”…”Deregulations”…”Campaign Contributions”
On January 25, Rep. Reed, a long with 109 other members of the House of Representatives, signed a letter urging Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve expanded EXPORTS of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). The letter is basing it’s decision to export more LNG on a study by a corporate consulting firm NERA (National Economic Research Associates– which historically promotes deregulation). The study concluded that exporting fracked natural gas “is the best economical interest of the United States.” (It was announced Friday, February 1 that Chu will not be returning to the post of Energy Secretary. There is no word if he approved of Reed’s request.)
Why would the Oil/Gas Industry want to export our fracked gas overseas? The letter they signed explained there would be “negative impacts on domestic manufacturers and consumers due to the change in the natural gas market.” What changes in the natural gas market? Rep. Reed mentions it numerous times in the Manufacturing Caucus article “inexpensive natural gas,”…. “cheap constant fuel.” The domestic price of gas is lower than the international price–in other words–HIGHER PROFITS for the Oil/Gas Industry if we sell our gas overseas.
Why would 110 Representatives want reduce amount of natural gas used domestically and export it? These Congressmen have received $11.5 Million from Big Oil and Electric Utilities. Rep. Reed is one of two of the 110 letter signers who are NOT from states that’s presently fracking. Rep. Reed received $155,762 from the Oil ($109,021) and Electric ($46,741) Industries. Twenty-three representatives received more money than Rep. Reed. Eighty-three received less.
We are risking damage to our environment so that gas can be sold overseas.
Am I missing something? Two proposals in the same week. One, Rep. Reed talked about on his weekly radio interviews and the press release was posted on his website. I saw no mention of the other one on Rep. Reed’s website or facebook page. One describes a scenario of domestic economic success using fracked natural gas; the other plan sells the gas overseas. We can’t sell the gas and use it too.
If I was a negative person, I would predict that that domestic jobs programs don’t succeed and somehow the Democrats will be blamed. The exporting the gas will succeed, but we won’t hear much about it.
- Congressmen Supporting LNG Exports Received $11.5 Million From Big Oil, Electric Utilities (desmogblog.com)
- Fracking vs. beer: Does natural gas exploration threaten America’s breweries? (mnn.com)
- New Report: Look Before the LNG Leap (sierraclub.typepad.com)
- No Healthy Community Would Allow Fracking (concernedcitizensofruralbroome.org)