Appalachian Basin

I Love New York…I Really Do!

One of my college journalism instructors, an ex-journalist named Joseph P. Ritz, once told our class “When you thrust yourself into the vortex of public controversy, expect anything.”

Funny that I remember those words so clearly, so plainly now from when he said them back in Public Affairs Reporting class in 1978.  The latest installment of IOGA of NY’s postcard campaign seems to have rankled our most ardent opposers.

From public comments on newspaper blogs, to reTweets and reposts, Facebook sharing, emails and  telephone calls, this one touched a nerve. The postcard in question was a riff on the I <3 NY tourism campaign, which New York’s governor rebranded a couple of weeks ago. In his announcement he invited the public to submit their own drawings of what New York meant to them. In the new campaign, these drawings replace the iconic heart. Folks of all ages entered all kinds of images, from farmland, to vineyards, to beaches and mountains and horse racing. IOGA replaced the heart with a derrick.  What didn’t get as much chatter was the wording on the back of the oversized postcard: Safe natural gas development in New York State is something everyone should love.

So…what’s not to love about reviving the Southern Tier with good-paying jobs? Seems like some folks aren’t on board with economic prosperity, reduced unemployment rates, family farms preserved and protected environment, too.

When passion is all you have, you tend to overlook the things you don’t understand – like how our society (including industry and the consumer base) is powered by energy use. There’s a clean energy source, literally under our feet, waiting for harvest. The natural gas industry is an important and time-honored part of New York’s industrial makeup, employing thousands of people with the opportunity to employ tens of thousands more. Stringent regulations guide the work of all operators.

New York is my home. While other places may beckon (keep trying, Land of Enchantment…there’s a flourishing energy industry there), I do love NY. What I wouldn’t love to see is NY looking like this (insert ghost town photo).


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