Monday, November 19, 2012

Reality Check- Are We Guinea Pigs for Hydrocarbon Development?

Opponents of hydrocarbon development say that we should wait until gas development can be done 100 percent safely. 

Reality check:  If we had waited for transportation to be 100% safe, we would still be waiting. No automobiles, no trains, no planes… nothing. Opponents also claim that companies and regulators that support the development of hydrocarbons treat communities as a giant lab experiment with the residents being guinea pigs.
Experience shows that regulations, safety and best practices evolve with technology,knowledge and experience. Did anyone complain about being a guinea pig when they were little as they rode in the back of a car standing on the hump between the seats… with no seat belt and a solid metal dash board? Were we guinea pigs for future generations or victims of time?

1960 Child Car Seat

Friday, November 2, 2012

Unraveling the Common Denominator to the Health/Environmental Impact Preconception

Green Plan’s Ted Fink, the author of two CommunityImpact Assessments (CIA), paid a visit to Otsego County’s Natural Gas Advisory Committee meeting on Friday October 26th. His visit which was set into motion by a County Board Member, who had hoped Fink could persuade the committee that a similar Assessment would benefit Otsego County. Fink utilizes a “build-out” analysis to depict how much land within the county or town could be impacted by gas development under current zoning regulations. According to my understanding, a build-out analysis is a tool that can be used to evaluate the demands that a future development project could have on the land. It has been used effectively for brick and mortar structures such as housing developments, and new roadways, but only recently has it been used to chart the impact of natural gas development.  A build-out analysis is normally paired with different development scenarios that can then be utilized to determine what land use patterns a community would prefer to see. If utilized properly, without bias, a CIA can be a very useful tool for localities who wish to see the overall big picture and plan accordingly.

How some people see gas development in their backyards.
 Scroll down to see a more realistic picture

However, I am very skeptical of Green Plan’s Community Impact Assessments. Not because of the funding sources but because of the land use assumptions applied.