Appalachian Basin

Dear Governor Cuomo – Please Save Us with Natural Gas

The following is a letter I recently sent our Governor, Andrew Cuomo in an appeal for action to address Sullivan County, New York’s long pressing economic development crisis.  I offer it in the hope others will also write him and share their sentiments as well.  The time for action on our economic crisis is now and the remedy is right before our eyes – natural gas.  Please review and write a letter of your own.

Dear Gov. Cuomo:

Sullivan County is facing a possible 27% increase in the county tax levy.

The real unemployment rate is around 20%.  Many people are holding down two or  three part-time  jobs because there are not enough full-time  jobs to generate a living wage.  Sullivan County is at the top of the  poverty list – 61st out of 62 counties.

Our infant mortality is the highest in the State of New York.

According to a Times-Herald Record article, 40% of the Sullivan County school children are on assisted school breakfast and lunch programs.

The number of people who are now on the food-stamp program is increasing every day with the cost of food escalating so that these food-stamps are lasting only about two weeks.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.  Sullivan County is hurting and the people of Sullivan County are hurting.

But, the solution is buried beneath the layers of earth and rock in the Marcellus Shale region that lies within the western end of Sullivan County.  Delaying development and the opportunity to harvest this natural gas resource will increase the suffering and mental and emotional anguish of those landowners who are barely hanging on to their property due to the lack of any means to earn a living wage.

This fall, there were 357 parcels of property which went under the foreclosure gavel of the tax sale…. some houses…. someone’s home… assessed for over $250,000,00…. large tracts of land over 30 acres or more…. all because the owners could not pay their taxes.  

The shame of it is that the State of New York is still denying land owners the God-given right to use their property to generate the income which may have saved their very property .

Exploration and development of natural gas and oil has been conducted in New York State since the1850’s.  New York City has been using natural gas for heating and cooking for over 200 years.  Natural gas has been powering the vehicles such as city buses and taxis for over half a century or more.  Many private companies have been using natural gas as a fuel for their vehicles …. Verizon, NYSEG, Federal Express to name just a few.

Natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel as the fossil fuels go.  CH4 + O2 = CO2 + H2O…. methane (which is natural gas) + oxygen = carbon dioxide + water.  The carbon dioxide, which is a product of respiration and burning, is very necessary to green plants as these plants take in carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis to make food for animals (including humans).  This is the wonderful cycle of life.

Delaying permission to harvest the natural resource of natural gas in New York State is to ignore the scientific studies conducted by the EPA in finding that hydraulic fracturing is a safe process as long as it is done properly.  The fears of those who suggest otherwise. are like saying that automobiles should be banned because there are accidents involving automobiles.  If the rules are followed and safety precautions are followed driving an automobile is safe.So , too, the drilling for natural gas is safe as long as the proper procedures are followed .

The regulations developed by the DEC are the most comprehensive of any state. There is no way that any regulation can eliminate human error, but if the rules are followed, the possibility of error is curtailed. To ignore a valuable natural resource which has been harvested by neighboring states because of the fear factor being promoted by the anti-gas forces is to fall prey to the lies perpetrated by these forces.  

After attending meetings at which the pitch is made to “go green” and then to be subjected to a sales pitch for purchasing solar panels or wind turbines at prices that necessitate taking out a huge loan for a period of over 10 or more years, I have come to the conclusion this is simply an interference of free trade and preventing one industry to conduct business so another industry can have the advantage.  This smacks of something illegal.        

I can see no reason for a further delay  in developing natural gas in New York State.  Our state has already lost two Congressional seats due to a reduction in population.  People are fleeing New York State because of high taxes and a lack of jobs.  Public schools have had to close due to reduced student enrollment.  How much more of this negativity do New Yorkers have to endure?

Gov. Cuomo, it is in your hands as the Governor of New York State to rescue New York from further economic downsizing and issue an Executive Order to development of our natural gas resources immediately.

Thanking you for your kind consideration, I remain

Sondra Bauernfeind

Now, please write a letter of your own, won’t you?  Here’s the address:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

You can also submit comments on-line here.


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