On January 2, 2015 3:04 pm
By Joanna Underwood
New Yorkers breathed a collective sigh of relief as they got the news the Cuomo administration would ban high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. But what will it mean for the state’s energy sector?
There are modest reserves of conventional natural gas in New York, though production has fallen by more than 50 percent since 2008. So does the state really need its own robust natural gas production, and if not from fracking, could it come from some other source?
The answers are “yes” and “yes.” In-state energy production would generate jobs and state tax revenue — both badly needed. As industry analysts and fracking boosters point out, a well-developed energy sector has important economic multiplier effects. Of 1,200 billion cubic feet of natural gas consumed in New York annually, barely 2 percent is produced in the state.