Binghamton, NY, Aug 28, 2012 — New York first started seeing large-scale hydraulic fracturing in 2008. And Binghamton-area journalist Tom Wilber says when a group of farmers in his area leased their land for $110 million to an energy company, it was a huge story. It was just so much money.
Wilber has covered business and the environment in that area for twenty years. He was only a short drive from Pennsylvania, so he started looking across the border to find out more about this new gas drilling technique. Soon after, the gas well of a woman in Dimock, Pennsylvania who'd leased her land for fracking blew up. People started complaining that their water wells were being destroyed. Wilber says it was the turning point, when fracking went from boom to bust, at least for some people.
Wilber's new book, Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale, deals with hydrofracking in New York. He spoke with Julie Grant about how that big land sale by farmers back in 2008 helped start the fracturing regulation debate in New York.