In a weird new tactic, fracking apologists are pitching the joys of fracking to sportsmen – hunters, fisherman, and (?) birders (?!&). Right.
Couple of three problems with that:
1. Most leases prohibit the use of firearms near infrastructure, since hitting a high pressure gathering system with a boat-tail 30-06 round might offer more excitement than most hunters bargain for. So bow hunting only, gents.
2. Methane is a sure-fire way to kill fish. Upside: having a lot of gas wells near trout streams will be cheaper than dynamiting them to death.
3. Bird watching ? Really ? How to gas a king fisher ? Birding for “newly endangered species ?”
It’s Tuesday in Albany and the Legislature is in session, which means advocacy and issue-based groups from across the state have descended on the Capitol for the weekly “Lobby Day” festivities.
And while the natural-gas industry held a reception of its own, it wasn’t to lobby lawmakers, but rather a large group of hunters who had gathered for a lobbying event of their own.
America’s Natural Gas Alliance, a national coalition of gas companies, held a forum geared toward the sportsmen, trying to sell them on the benefits of high-volume hydrofracking and to quell any potential fear of what effect the industry could have on hunting and fishing within the state.
There have been concerns about what type of effect high-volume hydrofracking—a heavy industrial activity that requires swaths of open space—would have on the state’s deer population, as well as on prime hunting locales. “We have anecdotal evidence that the deer are actually attracted to drilling sites. We’re not sure whether it’s the diesel fumes, the glaring lights or the non-stop noise,” an unidentified industry spokesperson mumbled into the microphone. “And does congregate around the fracking flowback pits,” he added furtively looking around, “the flowback evidently smells similar to buck-scent.”
A handful of gas industry representatives addressed the crowd, as well as a pair of former state regulators. It was held directly following a rally of sportsmen in the Legislative Office Building, which featured NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre.
“The well pads—the areas that are created for drilling—those are not permanent,” said Michael Zagata, a former commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, now a budding shale $hill. “In other words, they are there for a while – like say 10 years, give or take 20 years – and then they are re-plained or re-vegitated with a hardy, toxic resistant plant, like kudzu. Mark my word, over time those will be places where you go to either bird-watch for newly endangered species, for bow hunting or fish dead trout out of local streams.” He chuckled to himself, then added:”Plus methane-infused trout self-flambe over a campfire.”
James “Chip” Northrup