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November 28, 2014
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Local drilling costs unknown; Delaware drilling commission explores economics


The extraction process itself often discourages competing industries such as tourism, hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, agricultural, dairy, and livestock farming. Additionally, if ground water contamination occurs as a result of fracking, those competitive industries may be curtailed altogether, their produce irrevocably compromised by contamination.

When extraction is either complete or abandoned, the community is left with few existing businesses and depleted natural resources incapable of supporting diversified industry.

Because the drilling commission meeting was forced to adjourn early, Dr. Barth was invited to speak again at a future date yet to be determined. She was also asked if she would be willing to undertake an economic impact study for the Town of Delaware. She replied that she would be willing to do so, but that such a study would necessarily involve a team of economists, each with a particular expertise.

In Dr. Barth’s estimation, such a study would be prohibitive in cost for a municipality at the town level. She emphasized that the cost of such a study should be borne by the state and that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has already been charged with that task.

To date, that agency has not completed its task, citing the extreme difficulty of obtaining accurate data for such expenses as road maintenance, volunteer firefighter and ambulance personnel and equipment, healthcare facilities, police and criminal justice system, and regulatory oversight of gas production.