But according to an article in The New York Times, one upstate New York town is hoping to have a little fracking come their way. They can't farm any more because there isn't enough money in it. But if they got a little subsidizing from fracking, they might be able to continue farming the land they love.
A bit of a Catch-22, isn't it? See an excerpt from the article below.
Drilling Far From Imminent, but Debate Roils a Region
By MICHAEL WINES
Published: January 6, 2013
“The evil gas company against the noble environmentalists isn’t what’s happening,” said [one resident]. “That’s a Hollywood construct. What’s really happening is, people up here with land who want to develop it against people who are quite comfortable and don’t want any disturbance.
“There’s a lot of charlatans on the other side. They’re not telling the truth a lot of the time.”
Truthful or not, the opponents of hydraulic fracturing are winning. Otsego County, like much of south-central New York, sits atop the Marcellus Shale formation, a gas-rich sheet of rock that underlies much of the Appalachian Basin. In Pennsylvania, where fracking is already under way, some landowners have made a comfortable living by allowing drilling on their property.
But the critics’ case against the process — that land and groundwater can be poisoned by the chemical cocktail that is forced into the earth to fracture the shale and free the gas — is carrying the day. The number of Otsego towns with bans or moratoriums on fracking has risen in just 18 months to nine, from five, including the city of Oneonta and the surrounding town. And the share of the land under lease to gas companies for future exploration has dropped as well.
Despite their critics’ accusations, landowners in favor of the process say they are not pawns of the gas industry. Rather, they see drilling bans as an infringement on their property rights, and drilling itself as the economic savior of a region they say is on the skids.
“You have people here who used to farm, and they don’t farm now because they can’t make a living at it,” he said. “The land’s been in their family for six, seven generations. They’d love to go back to farming but they can’t. But if they have the money from gas, they can.”
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