By Zack Colman - 08/24/12 03:15 PM EDT
Fracking is the process of injecting a high-pressure mix of chemicals, sand and water into tight rock formations to unlock natural gas. It has been linked to increased seismic activity and water contamination, and it also releases methane, a heat-trapping gas.
The support for natural gas comes as New York state is set to roll out fracking guidelines after Labor Day. Natural gas firms had complained that a maze of local ordinances and grassroots pressure has made it difficult to operate in the state.
Bloomberg, along with a veteran natural gas industry executive, wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece Friday that natural gas “reduces U.S. dependence on coal, which is one of the best things we can do to improve air quality and fight climate change.” They also said natural gas is a win for consumers and the economy.
Bloomberg has fought to reduce carbon emissions, especially those from coal-fired power plants. He has previously donated $50 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, and is also the chairman of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.