A perennial issue in the effort to protect the environment, is economics. Many of the biggest fights are about who gets to profit from the land. We also see many examples of people arguing that environmental protection will do harm to the economy by limiting jobs or access to resources.
Here in New York (and frankly many other places), there have been several emotional demonstrations against hydro-fracking. Although there are many aspects of this dispute we are likely to hit on in coming weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about the economy recently. (For example, tonight, President Obama is unveiling some miracle job recovering plan.) Proponents of hydro-fracking argue that exploration and utilization of natural gas from the marcellus shale will provide jobs and reduce energy prices. Today, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that it will be holding hearings across the state to go over the findings of its recently released consultant repost (finding that new natural gas development in New York has the potential to create anywhere from 6,198 to 24,795 full-time jobs, bringing in between $419.6 million to $1.7 billion in new wages for workers). No mention yet of a hearing in Buffalo.