New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stepped into the fracking debate with some idiotic remarks that make you wonder whether the guy has a brain or is just a another scarecrow.
It’s hard to expect too much from a guy who’s never had a job that didn’t involve living off taxpayers or working for the Sandinistas, took his honeymoon in Cuba and legally changed his name twice, but you’d hope the guy could do more than repeat slogans. Warren Wilhelm, Jr. (a/k/a Bill de Blasio), unfortunately, is as shallow as they come and based on his latest statement regarding fracking, one wonders if he even has a brain or is simply some talking robot or scarecrow.
The New York Post reports the new Mayor of New York City said this other day regarding fracking:
“The one thing I am firm about is that I don’t see any place for fracking,” he told reporters.
“The science simply isn’t reliable enough. The technology isn’t reliable enough. And, there’s too much danger to our water supply, to our environment in general.”
De Blasio said there should be a statewide moratorium on fracking “until the day comes that we can actually prove it’s safe and I don’t think that day is coming any time soon.”
We could spend many paragraphs countering the Mayor’s nonsense but suffice it to say two successive EPA chiefs under President Obama haven’t agreed with him, nor have any others in a real position to know. He’s full of it and simply doesn’t know anything beyond the politically correct slogans he utters. That isn’t the worst of it though, because, apparently, de Blasio has not read his own City’s Air Quality Plan, which says:
The same Air Quality Plan includes this helpful chart, illustrating that no heating fuel works better than natural gas in delivering warmth with few PM 2.5 emissions:
New York’s last Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, despite being a nanny-state sort of guy, did at least have a brain. He knew the importance of natural gas (which, for those of you with the new last name of de Blasio, comes from fracking) in cleaning the City’s air. Here are a few excerpts from one of Bloomberg’s press releases a few months ago:
Since 2008, the levels of sulfur dioxide (SOx) in the air have dropped by 69 percent and since 2007 the level of soot pollution (PM2.5) has dropped by 23 percent. The largest contributor to the reductions is the PlaNYC’s Clean Heat program, which phased out use of the most heavily polluting heating oils in New York City.
The cleaner air enjoyed by New Yorkers today is preventing 800 deaths 2,000 emergency room visits and hospitalizations from lung and cardiovascular diseases annually, compared to 2008.
“By bringing together the real estate community, natural gas utilities, heating oil suppliers, contractors, non-profits and community groups and major lenders, the Clean Heat program has coordinated the entire marketplace to help solve one of New York City’s longest standing air quality problems.” said Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability Sergej Mahnovski. “This same approach can help us to increase energy efficiency in buildings and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Air pollution poses a major threat to the health of all New Yorkers, but especially young children, seniors and those with chronic heart and lung disease,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “Switching to cleaner heating fuels is contributing to dramatic improvements in the air quality of New York City and will help all of us stay healthier.”
Three changes contributed to the winter season air quality improvements over the past several years. Only three years ago, nearly 10,000 buildings in New York City burned Numbers 4 and 6 heating oil, which emit significant amounts of PM2.5, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nickel and other dangerous pollutants. Through the efforts of the NYC Clean Heat Program, over 2,700 buildings have converted to cleaner fuels since 2011 and an additional 2,500 buildings are actively pursuing conversions. Second, additional emission reductions have come from State rules that limited the sulfur content of #2 heating oil to 15 parts per million (a 99 percent reduction) and City rules restricting the sulfur content of #4 oil to 1,500 parts per million (a 50% reduction). Third, the expansion of the regional natural gas supply and local gas distribution infrastructure operated by Con Edison and National Grid has encouraged buildings to save money and reduce emissions by converting to natural gas. As a result, citywide concentrations of SO2 have declined by 69 percent and nickel by 35 percent.
In 2005-2007, it’s estimated that PM2.5 levels in New York City contributed to over 3,100 deaths, over 2,000 hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and 6,000 emergency department visits for asthma annually. Today, because of the significant improvements in air quality, the health department estimates that 800 lives will be saved each year and approximately 1,600 emergency department visits for asthma and 460 hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiovascular issues will be prevented every year. The City expects further improvements in air quality and the future health of all New Yorkers as buildings continue to convert to cleaner fuels over the next several years.
Another air quality report issued by the City’s Departments of Health and Environmental Protection indicates the biggest source of the big gains:
Conversion rates to natural gas were particularly strong as buildings sought to take advantage of the lower costs of gas relative to fuel oil, which began in 2008 as a result of significant expansion of regional gas supply.
That was all made possible by fracking, of course. The Marcellus Shale gas extracted using the hydraulic fracturing or fracking process primarily feeds the New York City market and is what has made all these air quality improvements achievable. It’s estimated that northeastern US fields will supply 90 percent of New York gas in 2030, according to this report.
It’s not hard at all, in the end, to see the benefits of natural gas and fracking to residents of New York City if you have a brain, is it? Sadly, the scarecrow never really got one it seems.