New York State sits atop what may be one of the world’s greatest supplies of natural gas, at a time when climate concerns have increased demand for it, when advanced technology has made it more accessible and when Albany is hungry for new economic opportunities.
That’s why in a draft State Energy Report issued last month, Governor David Paterson said the upstate gas reserve “presents an opportunity for the State to unlock substantial economic value while helping to achieve a key energy policy objective of importance to the state’s energy security.”
But a broad coalition of upstate environmental groups, local community boards and elected officials from City Hall to Washington has emerged to resist plans to extract that subterranean fuel until key environmental questions are addressed. The reason? Some of the state’s underground treasure of natural gas is located under and around another precious resource: New York City’s water supply system.