You might think that we could do both, but you’d be wrong. Natural gas drilling simply can not exist side by side with wind power. Wind turbines are often two or three times as tall as the drilling rigs that majestically ‘fracture’ underground rock formations flaring gasses into the atmosphere and leaking heavy metals into the groundwater. These busy little derricks would be dwarfed by the monstrous wind turbines. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anything getting in the way of my views of drilling platforms and bermed pools of toxic mud waste. That’s just not why I came to Schoharie County.
But wind turbine development could also pose other more serious environmental threats to natural gas drilling operations. For example, natural gas drilling requires the use of high-pressure ‘fracturing fluids’ such as diesel, acids and heavy metals. These fluids may enter into groundwater used for drinking and bathing. How can I enjoy sitting out on my back porch looking out at a natural gas derrick, sipping water contaminated with acids and heavy metals when there are giant wind turbines off in the distance to distract me?
Then there’s the air quality issue. Natural gas drilling inevitably results in the release of numerous toxic chemicals into the atmosphere such as hydrogen sulfides, nitrogen oxides, heavy metals, and sulfur dioxides. In areas with heavy natural gas drilling, these pollutants can result in ozone levels well beyond the danger threshold level of 50-60 parts per billion. In other words, it creates pretty smog. It may be possible that with this level of smog, we might not be able to see the wind turbines, but what if we can, and what if they take away from the pretty sunsets?
Clearly, wind turbines are not the “green” solution that their supporters claim they are. In my opinion, Schoharie County simply can not afford to build wind turbines when of our best assets is the natural landscape, which will soon be enhanced by drilling rigs, derricks, diesel-flavored groundwater and exotic multi-colored smog.