The SUNY-Albany CFACT chapter hosted Karen Moreau, executive producer of the documentary “The Empire State Divide” and the executive director for the New York State Petroleum Council. Moreau spoke last year with the Syracuse CFACT chapter.
The planning of the event itself was an issue as the students faced roadblocks at nearly every turn with the Administration. Several room requests were denied for unknown reasons. The university refused to work with them in scheduling a room, eventually leading to several phone calls and a secured time and location for the event. Once the evening was planned, the CFACT members were all excited to hear Moreau speak on the issues New York faces in the energy realm.
Starting first with a showing of Moreau’s documentary, “The Empire State Divide,” the students learned about the hardships that many New York families are experiencing as a result of the strict environmental policies in place around the state. Particularly for those who farm or possess many acres of property, the lifestyle is becoming unsustainable due to the growing energy utility costs and fierce regulation. Many of these families sit on vast amounts of natural gas, far below their feet. These families could cure many of these financial problems by doing what Pennsylvania and various other states have adopted; drilling.
Following the moving documentary, Moreau spoke on some of the various issues New Yorkers face, centering her discussion on past, personal experiences to bring the message home. Moreau’s family has faced the same kinds of issues as many of the families presented in the film, and one way to cure this, Moreau advised, would be to allow for hydraulic fracturing. The safe, secure, and effective process by which natural gas is extracted from deep below the ground would bring New York back financially, providing thousands of jobs. These jobs would not only come from the direct construction and maintenance of the wells, but from the exponential growth that would result thanks to increased revenue, more jobs, and cheaper energy costs. It is crucial for New York to adopt these policies, Moreau noted, because if not, the state will continue to fall behind and families will suffer as a result of regulation and mandates.