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Drilling rig in the Marcellus Shale region. Photo: Laurie Barr
Drilling rig in the Marcellus Shale region. Photo: Laurie Barr

Panel says fracking would help boost upstate

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A meeting of upstate Chambers of Commerce has come out strongly in support of hydrofracking in new York.

As the Innovation Trail's Kate O'Connell reports, panelists meeting in Rochester believe the controversial process will eventually be approved and that New York is in a good position to benefit.

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New York desperately needs to jump on the fracking band wagon according to the executive director of Unshackle New York, Brian Sampson.

Sampson says permitting fracking in the state would benefit the farming and manufacturing sectors, as well as cutting energy costs and unemployment rates.

Deputy director for the New York Farm Bureau, Jeff Williams agrees it should be implemented.

He says the process does put water and land at risk of contamination, but as long as this risk can be mitigated, farmers stand to benefit.

“There are farmers who will make money through the process and then automatically turn it around and then re-invest in their farms. They buy more cows so we can make more milk so we can have more yoghurt in the state. They can buy a tractor from the dealer next door who hasn’t sold one in a while and keep that dealership in the area. And that keeps the infrastructure of agriculture going in the state.”

Panelists say regulations are important, but New York will miss its chance with gas companies if they take the process too far.

Environmental groups strongly oppose fracking in New York.

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