An Open Letter to Governor Cuomo
Dear Governor Cuomo:
Our local paper reported there will be further delays in starting natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale. The reason given was that a committee could not meet a November 1st dead line. Developing the natural gas industry has to be done right but continued delay is unnecessary!
New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation has done an exceptional job developing the new Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) and accompanying draft regulations. Your committee must now do its job in a timely fashion. Further delays will lead to companies looking to other states for investments while other companies here in New York sell assets and put their acreage up for sale. We in the Southern Tier need jobs now! We need the financial benefits now! We need the support of New York State now! A strong economy in the Southern Tier will benefit all of New York State and we need the changes it will bring!
Yes, change is needed – a particular type of change. The media often quotes local residents wanting the Southern Tier to stay as it is. But the area is changing already and not for the better!
For example, in the 1950’s, the City of Binghamton’s population was 85,000, downtown was busy and vibrant, poverty was low and most people had jobs. Now the population is 44,000, downtown has boarded storefronts (even before the flood) and few people, unemployment is high and many are homeless. Downsized, or totally gone, are the State Hospital, IBM, Endicott Johnson, GAF and Singer Link. Binghamton University has grown but cannot fill the void alone.
We are in a death spiral.
We NEED change desperately. We need to change the direction of our economy. We need to spiral up! The Southern Tier has a great resource in natural gas. With responsible and strictly regulated development, natural gas can be the foundation on which to rebuild the Valley of Opportunity for all of our families.
Please stick to the plan, Governor Cuomo, and help bring about this change. Three and a half years is enough – let’s get this job done!