Approving a controversial method of extracting natural gas could mean a big boost for jobs, the state Conservative Party said today in a memo of support on the issue.

From the memorandum:

Simply put: Hydraulic fracturing means jobs and energy for New Yorkers.
It is time to put people back to work and to become less dependent on others for our energy needs. Hydraulic fracturing is certainly not a new concept and the newest technology has made it possible for the relatively safe extraction of natural gas.

The method, also known as hydrofracking, uses a mixture of chemicals and water to blast through rock and access the natural gas underneath. The amount of gas believed to be underneath the Marcellus Shale region of the Southern Tier is believed to be plentiful and potentially lucrative, especially for the economically troubled region that has lost industry and jobs over the years.

But environmental groups believe the process could create a hazard to the water trouble and say the natural gas companies have understated the risks.

Still, it is interesting, if not wholly unsurprising that the Conservative Party is weighing in on the issue. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose 2 percent cap on property taxes recently receive a boost from the party as well, has said the state should wait for the Department of Environmental Conservation’s review of the process before making a decision as to whether the state should issue any permits.

The full memo is after the jump:

Brooklyn, NY – The New York State Conservative Party issued the following legislative memo to every Legislator outlining the positive benefits in extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. The memo follows:

Party Position: According to the Department of Labor, as of February 2011, the upstate non-metro counties in New York have a 10% rate of unemployment. New York needs jobs and New York needs energy.Exploring and extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale provides both.

Hydraulic fracturing was first used 100 years ago and in 1949, the first commercial fracturing was preformed. For 40 years, geologists and engineers perfected the process and by so doing, it has brought new life to old oil and gas wells and has made it an integral part of our energy strategy.

More than 30 state and federal regulatory agencies have studied the industry and have concluded that the technology is safe and well regulated.

Geologist Gary Lash, a professor at SUNY-Fredonia and Terry Englander, a geosciences professor at Penn State estimated that the Marcellus might contain more than 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and that with the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing methods used in the Barnett Shale of Texas, approximately 10% might be recovered. Just 10% would be enough to supply the entire United States for two years!

In 2006, the Barnett Shale of Texas was responsible for creating 55,385 permanent new jobs and it is estimated to have contributed $491 million to Texas and $228 to local governments. It is also estimated that by 2015, the Barnett Shale may be responsible for more than 108,000 jobs in the area. While some lawsuits have been filed in Texas, those who do not own the mineral rights under their property file the most complaining about eyesores and noise, safety has not been the issue.

Simply put: Hydraulic fracturing means jobs and energy for New Yorkers.

It is time to put people back to work and to become less dependent on others for our energy needs. Hydraulic fracturing is certainly not a new concept and the newest technology has made it possible for the relatively safe extraction of natural gas.