Landowners Appeal to Cuomo to Support Natural Gas in Bid for Their Futures
The past month has been extremely stressful for people in upstate New York. Governor Cuomo has been pushing the natural gas issue to the side and leaving many hanging on to their farms, homes, and livelihood by a thread. Landowners are tired of this and they are getting extremely frustrated, but are turning their frustration into action.
There have been concerted letter signing campaigns across the Southern Tier over the past month and Energy In Depth has been pleased to lend support where we could. The turnout has been unbelievable. Just three letter signing events have generated over 600 landowner and resident letters being sent to the governor.
These folks are not from other states, countries, or even counties outside of the Marcellus Shale. The people who have participated reside in the areas where natural gas could, realistically, be produced and they are proving they are the majority.
Landowners are not only sending “Messages to Governor Cuomo,” in writing, but they are also doing video interviews telling the governor about their situation and showing him the reality of trying to survive economically in Upstate New York. It isn’t easy, as we have noted repeatedly on these pages. Southern Tier counties are failing miserably compared to their counterparts on the other side of the border, with sub-par job growth, wages and numbers of new business establishments created.
One local businessman recently wrote to us to say he plans to use this as an opportunity to ask the governor questions he’d like him to answer, such as:
Why, if health impacts really are the issue, are you only considering the unknown, unseen, speculative impacts of natural gas development and disregarding the known health impacts of wind, solar, and firewood?
Why do your concerns only seem to apply to natural gas? Level the playing field and perform impact and cost/benefit analysis on all options! And, while you’re at it, why not put a moratorium on all forms of energy development? Fair is fair, after all.
Why did you bury an analysis from the New York Department of Health that found natural gas development safe last year?
Why don’t you consider doing the right thing more important than pandering to an anti-gas, “Occupy New York” minority?
Why are you willing to disregard property rights?
These are good questions that many more landowners will, we hope, get an opportunity to pose to the Governor in coming days as they offer their views in writing and on camera.
The Governor is clearly in a difficult spot but it’s one partly, at least, of his own making. Those opposed to natural gas development in New York have been loud and had the stage for the last four years because New York’s leaders (including not only Cuomo, but also his predecessors and counterparts in the Legislature) have given them more attention than they deserved.
Now, New York’s landowners are making sure their voices heard and they’re determined to not be drowned out in the debate as they wait for a decision. They’re committed to persisting until victory is achieved and their futures are assured.
For anyone interested in reaching out to Governor Cuomo, he can be contacted online, by phone (518) 474-8390 or mail:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224