As the state weighs whether to allow hydraulic fracturing, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out in favor of the controversial technique — with some regulations — and said Monday that natural gas is important for improving air quality and public health.
The mayor released a study Monday that found that additional gas supply and infrastructure upgrades are needed to meet the city’s growing demand.
“This study confirms its importance to New York City’s reliable, clean energy future and demonstrates that with responsible, well-regulated development, we can make the investments that both improve our air quality and save lives,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, as are concerned the process could contaminate groundwater and cause other environmental damage.
The report comes on the heels of an op-ed piece Bloomberg co-authored with George P. Mitchell, who helped lead the development of the fracking technologies, last week in The Washington Post.
The piece said that “fracking for natural gas can be as good for our environment as it is for our economy and our wallets, but only if done responsibly.”
Among the “common-sense” regulation the Op-Ed called for was disclosing all the chemicals used in the process; minimizing water consumption, protecting groundwater and ensuring proposer disposal of wastewater; and improving air pollution controls, including capturing leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
The report by ICF International was based on a year long study of the current natural gas system.