Lew Leone is the vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5. He is taking to the airwaves with his thoughts on current affairs. It's called "Lew's View." The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.
In this edition, Mr. Lew Leone comments on fracking.
Until recently, fracking was something that happened in the boondocks of Pennsylvania. Drills that went deep underground, releasing precious natural gas.
But now, they're talking about it here in the canyons of Manhattan -It's cocktail conversation, banning fracking is the latest celebrity cause. You know it's serious, when The New York Times launches an investigation and sends its reporters to tiny Pennsylvania towns to get at the truth.
That's because, fracking hits home in Upstate New York. it's where Manhattanites have weekend houses – and they're worried about property values. Upstate is where the city's drinking water comes from. They're worried about contamination… from fracking
A anti-fracking documentary called Gas Land has become famous because of a now iconic moment: lighting water on fire.
Do we really think that is going to happen to all of us?
We think Fracking could be the underground charge our economy needs – once you get past the hype and drama on both sides.
A fracking industry study reported that $11.2 billion was pumped into the PA state economy last year, including $1.1 billion in new tax revenues, and supports nearly 140,000 jobs.
Yup, those numbers come from the pro-frackers. But even the New York Times couldn't ignore the Pennsylvania farms brought back from bankruptcy by gas leases, vacant stores being re-opened, hotels and restaurants re-built, Roads and bridges restored...and its all without a government bail-out.
There is plenty to worry about. companies need to safely dispose of contaminated waste water left over after fracking. And land-owners are counting on the gas companies to leave their property in the same condition it was, before the drilling. Plus, there's noise, quality of life issues.
If fracking comes to the Catskills, the gas companies will need more than expensive PR companies to manage all this.
Remember who lives there?
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