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Fracking Issues

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There are many issues and questions related to fracking and many ways one could categorize such a list. Here is an initial list of issues related to NYS fracking:

Decision & Rules

  1. Who decides?
  2. When must a decision be made?
  3. Can it be changed after it is made, and if so how and by who?
  4. If fracking is allowed, what requirements can be made of the landowners and gas mining companies?
  5. Must each well be approved or is approval by an area?
  6. To what degree can we get transparency into this industries practices and the decision process surrounding how it is managed in NYS?
  7. What should be required in terms of pre-testing, work procedures and clean-up?
  8. How do we obtain a complete overview, the information we need to understand specific details, and ultimately judge the quality of the arguments?


  1. What should the state charge businesses wanting to mine the natural gas under NYS?
  2. What restrictions should be placed on the use of natural gas mined from NYS?
  3. How should those owning land in NYS be compensated for taking natural gas from beneath their property? Should there be a tax on these earning or other means to spread further the fracking revenue – thus balancing general risks and rewards?
  4. What about other fracking costs, typically thought of being external to the business (health risks, health issues, infrastructure, or other public costs)? How do we balance them against the benefits, short- and long-term? Who establishes the criteria for this evaluation? Who should bear these costs?
  5. What is the value of energy independence whether it is gained trough fracking, coal, tar sands, renewable energy, nuclear energy, or whatever? How do we balance this objective versus the costs and other impacts


  1. Might the use of large volumes of fresh water be an issue in NYS? What else might we use the same water for? How can this use of water be monitored and managed?
  2. What else is being pumped into the ground for the fracking process? Who has a right to know and should there be regulation of this process and the chemicals used?
  3. If fracking affects water, soil or air quality and/or causes health issues what should be done, and how do we assure that what we decide should be done will be done?
  4. To what extent will fracking increase or decrease Greenhouse gases relative to business as usual or compared to future energy alternatives? What might be done to improve this potential problem? Could we include the right to terminate fracking permits if a better alternative becomes viable?
  5. What of other environmental, health or economic impacts that might result from fracking? What should we do for those effects determined now and in the future?
  6. What if other methods (other than fracking) could be used to extract gases locked in shale, such as using CO2, or perhaps some explosive device? What are each of these alternative method’s issues, pros and cons?


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