Study Shows High Costs Of Fracking [AUDIO]
The argument against hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" Is getting more ammunition as an environmental group is arguing the practice is not only dangerous to the environment but also to our pocketbooks.
Environment New Jersey held a press conference in Trenton on Thursday to release a new study called "The Costs of Fracking," which they hope will further convince Governor Christie to sign legislation (S253) banning fracking waste.
Interim Director of Environment NJ Doug O'Malley says even when it's not directly in our state, runoff and pollution from nearby drilling operations can enter our waterways and seep into our groundwater.
O'Malley cites examples in Dimock, Pennsylvania where fracking operations contaminated drinking water wells of several households for several years. He notes the cost of mitigating such incidents can be staggering.
"The cost of reclaiming a natural gas well approaches one million dollars, and replacement of ground water that's been polluter has a cost of up to eleven million dollars. "
In a release issued by Environment New Jersey Democratic State Senator Bob Gordon stated:
"Natural gas is often lauded as a cheap, accessible source of energy. But we cannot ignore the harmful environmental and financial consequences associated with using hydraulic fracturing. The costs and lasting effects of contaminated drinking water and soil, destruction of natural resources and degradation of public infrastructure are all too often left to governments and taxpayers to bear. This state cannot afford to clean up yet another industrial energy boom that has turned into an environmental and public health debacle."
O'Malley agrees that while natural gas companies laud themselves as the inexpensive option, he says there is an ultimate cost to it that will be shared by everyone.
"The true cost of fracking is not just looking at the gas driller's bottom line, it's looking at the bottom line for everybody."
The report states if fracking in New York and escalates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey could wind up dealing with millions of gallons of toxic wastewater. It adds, if that wastewater is sent to sewage plants, the result could either be pollution of the state's rivers or costly plant upgrades for cities and towns.
"This wastewater is highly toxic. This isn't just pollution that can be treated away. These are known carcinogens that would be dumped right in our waterways. This isn't a questions of rhetoric, this is a question of whether we want toxic fracking waste dumped in our waterways."
The Anti Fracking Legislation already passed the Legislature in June, with victories in the Senate and Assembly. Governor Christie has until Monday the 24th to either sign the legislation or veto it.
The governor however last year vetoed a bill that would ban fracking in the state and instead called for a one year moratorium on the practice to allow state and federal environmental agencies to evaluate it.
The bill would keep the waste water from by fracking from entering the state.
O'Malley says the Governor needs to take action.
"Gas drillers are dumping fracking waste and waste-water into our waterways and I don't think the governor can wish that away."