Smart Moves on Drilling in New York


While neighboring Pennsylvania and other states have rushed pell-mell into the Northeast’s version of an energy boom — making some people richer and some environments poorer — and while concern has steadily risen about the evolving industrial practices used to extract gas from shale, New York and Gov. David A. Paterson have held back. Instead of jumping in, the state has written fairly tough regulations that are still being tweaked and has added extra protections for the most sensitive areas, particularly the upstate watershed that provides drinking water to nine million people in New York City and its suburbs and exurbs to the north.

…“What we’ve had in the past is child’s play compared to wells drilled today,” said Anthony R. Ingraffea, an engineering professor at Cornell and a critic of drilling. “The gas industry wants to run in and develop as swiftly as they can, and only after the fact do they realize the harm that’s been done.”