New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) likely cost his state’s economy $15 billion in natural gas production last year, new data show. New York’s loss is its neighbors’ gain, as Pennsylvania and Ohio led the nation in natural gas production growth in 2016.
Pennsylvania and New York have similar natural gas resources, with both states sitting atop the lucrative Marcellus and Utica shale gas plays. Pennsylvania produced more than 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas last year, selling at over $3 per thousand cubic feet. Pennsylvania’s $15 billion worth of natural gas production last year equated to more than $3,000 per household. Moreover, Pennsylvania state government collects approximately $400 million in direct taxes, fees, and lease revenues each year from natural gas production, lowering the average household’s tax burden by nearly $100 per year.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Anti-fracking activists argue the fracking process imposes unacceptable environmental consequences on fracking communities. However, fracking support is highest in communities where fracking takes place. This is especially the case considering many energy alternatives, including wind power, impose substantially greater environmental harm than natural gas.