Thursday, February 9, 2012
Thank You - John Holko
There are two types of science: pure science and junk science. The beauty of pure science is that it is discoverable and quantifiable. The scourge of junk science is that it is everywhere. It spews from the shabby research conducted by "scientists" in unrelated disciplines who accept funding from biased foundations for the singular purpose of being published. The writer and those who read his commentary need to understand some basic truths: » Hydraulic fracturing is not new. It was been used as a natural gas retrieval process since the 1950s. Almost every natural gas well in New York — more than 10,000 - drilled since that time has been hydraulically fractured; » The operator — by contract and law — is responsible for any and all road repair caused by the operator's work, whether it occurs on private property or public roads. Tax dollars do not pay for environmental remediation. » As far as loss of jobs and income, this industry creates jobs for workers at all levels. Look at the very robust workforces in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Bradford County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state of Pennsylvania, because of the natural gas industry. Jobs break the cycle of underemployment and improve the quality of life for individuals and communities; social disarray and displacement? Social disarray is a byproduct of low self-esteem brought on by underemployment. Displacement occurs when people leave their home state to look for work elsewhere. Again, look at the strong local workforce in Pennsylvania, where high school graduates with proper training can earn more than $75,000 a year. They can stay in their communities to raise their families. Good jobs help solve social problems. » Yes, this country needs natural gas now. The United States has been too dependent on foreign energy sources for too long. We have an incredible source of domestic energy here right now and it can provide a means also to build our workforce safely and efficiently. Pure science suffers when junk scientists and ill- informed people make headlines with over-aggrandized findings and unsupported statements. Industry's research is funded by industry, an investment in all of our well-being. Holko is president of Lenape Resources of Alexander and director of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York.