Appalachian Basin

Director of Gas Odyssey Sees Bright Future From Natural Gas Development

The following remarks were delivered yesterday at a press conference  in Binghamton, NY

Aaron Price
Director and Creator, Gas Odyssey

In drafting regulations to govern gas drilling, the DEC has taken its time; now it is time for New York State to take its place among the states producing energy from the Marcellus Shale. It’s time for New York to begin the journey to energy self-sufficiency. It’s time for New York State to start creating jobs. Creating business. Building hope and a better future for the residents of our great Southern Tier.

My documentary—Gas Odysseycaptured on film the moment when the economy of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania took off upwards. When high school students working for water companies started to earn health benefits and pension plans. When struggling businesses stopped struggling and started expanding. When unemployment in Susquehanna County dropped, and landowners started getting something better than bills and tax notices in the mail.

Broome County was the Valley of Opportunity. More than vacant lots once sprang from this county’s soil. I was born in Binghamton, New York. I went to high school in Binghamton, New York. And I live in this community, believing in its potential, and working for its rebirth, because I remember what we once had—IBM, EJ—and I know what we can have again.

Do nothing else but allow the Marcellus Shale to be developed and this county will grow.  Do nothing else but allow landowners to lease and shale gas to flow, and schools and hospitals and senior centers will stay open. Firemen and police officers will keep their jobs. Public finances will stabilize and our main streets and downtowns won’t be empty anymore.

Let this valley echo with the sounds of progress, not the drumbeat of delay and procrastination. Let our own resources grow local talent, as IBM and Singer-Link grew here not so long ago.

Our community needs the Marcellus. New York State needs the Marcellus. And our country needs us, in this state, to step forward and embrace energy security, not energy scarcity. To see in gas wells and pipelines independence, not dependence, and to know in our hearts that prosperity is the friend of equality.

So let us be bold and set the goal that in ten years the Southern Tier of New York will lead the nation in natural gas cars and trucks and buses. And those cars and trucks and buses will be fueled by natural gas from wells in Windsor, in Kirkwood, in Vestal, and yes, even from the Town of Binghamton. We’ll replace imported oil with our own resource that is cleaner and safer, and does not demand the sacrifices of foreign oil.

This cause, this goal of ours to bring safe, responsible drilling to New York, is not about personalities, celebrities, or political parties. This is about restoring our state to greatness, and giving the next generation of New Yorkers what we had: a chance.

When safe, responsible drilling is the norm throughout New York State, no one will ask what the benefits of drilling are. They will only ask, what took us so long?

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