New York Landowners Rally In Support Of Natural Gas Development
New York landowners, business owners, farmers and other workers rallied in Otsiningo Park last week to show President Obama they support his position on natural gas development. The event was organized by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and brought out about 150-200 individuals eager to show the President, who was touring the area, that upstate residents support the development of this resource in New York.
Dan Fitzsimmons, the leader of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) spoke with us, giving a crystal clear message to both Governor Cuomo and President Obama that landowners are ready to move forward natural gas development. Watch his full comment below:
Assemblyman Cliff Crouch has always stood up for what he believes in, and he came out to this event to show his support for the landowners:
The Assemblyman also took some time to explain to us why he felt attending the rally was important:
Bob Polancic of the Vestal Gas Coalition expressed his support as well. We asked him if he thought President Obama being in town would influence any decisions Governor Cuomo might make. Hear his answer in the following video:
Bob Williams told us the message the JLCNY is trying to send is clear: There is a tremendous amount of support for President Obama’s stance on developing natural gas in the United States. Williams discussed why he also supports the President:
Ryan Johnson lives in New York and works for the natural gas industry. Johnson was out showing his support for natural gas and took the time to talk with us. I asked him one specific question: “After working in the industry and seeing what it is like, would you still want it to come to New York State?” Watch his interview below:
We also asked Inge Grafe-Kieklak if she thought President Obama visiting Broome County would help Governor Cuomo see the light on shale development, not to mention the economic problems plaguing the Southern Tier. Watch her response below:
Bryant LaTourette is a Chenango County business owner. He came out to the event to show his support for natural gas development and he took a minute to interview with us. He felt very similar to the others we spoke with and is tired of the ongoing five-year battle against New York State politicians.
Amber Kelly spoke about why she feels the natural gas industry is extremely important for New York:
Jeff Heller wants President Obama and Governor Cuomo to see there is enormous support for natural gas development in New York State. He wants them to see that the people who live and work here support the industry and want it to come to the area:
One dairy farmer, Carl Brink, travelled to Binghamton from Newark Valley. His story was difficult to hear, but is honestly the story many people living in upstate New York face as well. He told us his neighbors are finding it hard to survive, as he is, and he supports natural gas fully. Responsible development could be the light at the end of the tunnel for people such as Brink and his neighbors:
We asked one woman how she feels about natural gas and she said New York is missing the boat economically. In Pennsylvania people are making and spending money locally, which is helping the local economy beyond belief:
Scott Kurkoski, an attorney with the JLCNY, encouraged the lively audience to keep the faith and understand the media are listening and reporting. He also said everyone is looking at Governor Cuomo, they see what he is not doing, and it is extremely important to keep in mind the fight is not over. Watch his whole presentation below:
Vic Furman spoke to the crowd next. He encouraged everyone to keep up the fight and keep the pressure in Albany:
Karen Moreau from API wrapped up the event with the hope this event “recharges the batteries” of landowners tired after five years of waiting. She told them the other side just wants the supporters of natural gas to give up, allowing opponents to win by attrition. Now is the time to push and keep striving to get through to Governor Cuomo:
The day ended very nicely. All of the people who attended seemed rejuvenated and eager to continue the fight, a testament to how important they know development would be. They all urged Governor Cuomo to listen to President Obama on this issue, which is really the crux of the matter: If responsible shale development is good enough for the Obama administration, then why isn’t it good enough for our governor?