Appalachian Basin

Natural Gas Can Help Lift Upstate But Cuomo Doesn’t Seem to Care


Governor Andrew Cuomo told everyone last month the poor job numbers in the Southern Tier of New York will not enter into his decision on natural gas development.  This was a slap in the face to the landowners in the Southern Tier who are barely making ends meet but working nonstop to try to raise their families in the area.

There are hundreds of families in the Southern Tier who are trying to make ends meet and keep their children close by.  They love upstate New York and don’t want to have to move, so they struggle daily to try to keep ahead of the game.  Many of these families are sacrificing their family time and their dreams just to stay in the state they call home, and they’re hurting.

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo has been seen all over TV in commercials claiming he has rejuvenated the state.  However, the folks living here and dealing with upstate’s economic challenges know this manufactured image isn’t even close to reality. That’s one of the reasons why, for example, the Governor of Texas is soliciting New York businesses to move there for relief  to avoid the kind of policies that are keeping economic growth from occurring in the Southern Tier.

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Cuomo has also created the “New” New York website.  The website includes this graphic indicating New York State is open for business.

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This, of course, begs the question is New York really open for business?  Well, maybe, so long as you’re not a natural gas company. As for others; where?  What kind of business?  Who wants to start a business in a failing state, one ranked dead last in economic freedom with the worst business taxes (see chart below) in the nation?

New York is certainly not business friendly, just ask the nation’s CEO’s who recently ranked the state as the 49th worst in which to conduct business. Ouch!  The way Governor Cuomo has been dragging his feet on natural gas development is a perfect example of why our nation’s top business leaders have this opinion.

So then, who exactly is the Governor trying to attract to New York?  He doesn’t seem to want families with children to support and put through college; those who need the kind of jobs natural gas development could provide.  His delay also indicates he doesn’t seem to care much for folks who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their farms, homes and businesses and are paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation just to hold onto them.

Despite the economic struggle of those living in Upstate, Governor Cuomo says, “The decision will be made on science, so these numbers won’t matter.”  That’s ironic because if the Governor were actually basing his decision on science that decision would have been made years ago.  Instead, the Governor is using science as political cover all the while he continues to leave families hanging by stringing them along.

Am I being too critical?  I spoke with three different landowners across New York State to better understand their perspectives.  Inge Grafe-Kieklak told me what she thought about the Governor’s statement in this short interview.

I also spoke with Kim More.  She felt very similar to the way Grafe-Kieklak felt.  She tells us she has been very upset with the Governor while waiting for him to make a decision that will so profoundly affect her life.

The final interview was with Sandra Davis.  She has struggled raising her family and is expecting a new baby this year.  In the discussion she relays her experience living in New York and trying to make ends meet.

People living in upstate New York and having to make a living know the truth.  Governor Cuomo telling the public that jobs don’t matter is stunning.  While he claims in TV commercials that he is reviving New York’s economy those living in the Southern Tier know the truth, and now they also know their Governor simply doesn’t care about their economic concerns.

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