Huffington Post, December 7, 2012
J. Mijin Cha
A few months ago, Joseph Martens, the Commissioner of New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, rejected calls for an independent analysis of the health impacts from fracking. Martens’ solution was to ask the state’s Health Commissioner to appoint independent experts to do the review. Leaving alone the illogic of rejecting an independent commission only to ask another agency to appoint a commission, there is cause for concern on what the commission will recommend. The Wall Street Journal quotes Lynn Goldman, one of the health experts, as saying, “A decision not to frack is a decision to use more coal.” Not only is this assertion completely wrong, this type of thinking is dangerous to communities.
Goldman posits a false choice. Continuing the moratorium against fracking in New York State does not mean that New York’s only option is to use more coal. In fact, the state currently produces more electricity from renewable energy than it does from coal. Eleven percent of the state’s electricity comes from renewables and by 2020, that share could increase to close to 40 percent. There is no reason why the state couldn’t double down on expanding renewable energy production, rather than allow fracking or increase coal use. Read more….