Is Otsego County really CLEAR of hydro-fracking?
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - A new act, called the CLEAR Act is tightening up regulations on onshore and offshore oil and gas drilling. The act covers both exploration and drilling. CLEAR stands for consolidated land, energy, and aquatic resources. Those resources are reason for concern for many residents in Otsego County who worry their water supply could be polluted by hydro-fracking. Hydro-fracking is a form of high volume horizontal natural gas drilling that some say could potentially harm watersheds in Upstate New York. Representative Michael Arcuri says that the language of the bill takes away previous protection granted to oil and gas companies in the 2005 Energy Bill. "We need to be a little bit more proactive, we all want cheap gas, but we need to protect our environment, " said Arcuri. The State Senate also passed a one year moratorium this week on hydro-fracking for natural gas, as the D.E.C. researches its effects, but that has yet to become law. Orvile Cole, the President of Gastem USA, tells a different side of the story. Cole says his company based in Otsego County does this type of drilling, and does it safely. Cole says that the state has had forms of hydro-fracking taking place since the 1950's, and the industry would be good for the state's economy.