Need to prove trustworthiness

in

To The Editor:
At this past week’s Andes Roundtable a representative of the hydro-fracking industry and former DEC executive was the presenter. He did a fine job of explaining how the drilling is accomplished, why it is safe if all the rules are followed and how New York State’s regulations are more stringent than those of most other states where drilling has taken place.

Let’s assume that all he told is factually correct.  Therefore if the rules are followed in the spirit and intent of the regulations, all is safe except for the accidents that can happen in any industrial enterprise.  However the “us,” the anti-hydrofracking populace still have issues.

We simply do not trust the hydrofracking industry.  As in many industries the penalties for “cheating” are just considered the cost of doing business.  The rewards for cheating are much greater than the financial penalties imposed.

The industry needs to prove to us that it is trustworthy if it wants to have any chance of convincing reasonable persons now opposed to hydrofracking that it is safe.  It is not good enough to tell us how they will follow the rules in New York State; they need to show us how they have followed the rules in states where they have been drilling.  We do not want to be convinced as to “What you will do,” but rather, “what you have done.”

If that can be accomplished with reliable data and ethical truth telling then the “us” that are against the industry can at least look at the technological issues again with an open mind. The industry has a big job ahead of it.

Of course the other many issues that raise concerns such as increased truck traffic, accidents, increased costs to the local communities, are also contentions the “us” have with hydrofracking.
However, let’s start with the actual history of the safety issues and the treatment of hydrofracking communities.  I do not think the industry can stand on its past record.

Jeffrey Ditchek,
Andes