Environmentalists say they've come up with an unlikely way to keep the city's tap water from becoming polluted: cow manure. Amidst mounting concerns about the impact of upstate natural gas drilling on New York City's water supply, the blog CleanTechnica reports on the burgeoning cow-power movement.
Environmentalists are hoping to quell some of the demand for natural gas drilling — which they fear could contaminate aquifers and reservoirs with dangerous chemicals — by using dairy cow dung to produce a sustainable methane gas that could provide power to upstate homes. Supporters of the plan, which is modeled after a similar cow-power plan in Vermont, want to install airtight containers across upstate farms in hopes of converting up to 40 percent of the state's cow manure into methane biogas by 2020, potentially lessening the need for upstate natural gas drilling. They also hope to develop a technology that will convert the methane biogas into a diesel-grade fuel that can power cars.