Appalachian Basin

NYRAD Fumes, Coventry Smoke Alarms Go Off

When you go to a public forum on pipelines, you expect discussion will be about pipelines. Unfortunately, our friends on the other side make every discussion about hydraulic fracturing, because that’s where the opportunities to demagogue are.  Wednesday evening was no exception – it was a pipeline meeting and the anti’s predictably turned it into a session where they could fume about fracturing.  They are a tiresome bunch, indeed.

The Town of Coventry in Chenango County, NY, held its second public forum on the proposed Leatherstocking distribution pipeline. While many of the people were there to learn and ask relevant questions on safety, taxes, benefits, installations and the like, the anti-gas special interests had other plans. As usual, New York Residents Against Drilling (NYRAD) saw this open forum as a way to scare people about the horrors of natural gas drilling, eminent domain, and multi-generational injustices.  I’m still trying to figure that last one out but it appears to be a hangover from the 1960’s, which so many of these folks seem to think was a time of nirvana.

For more information on NYRAD’s failed attempts at controlling similar forums in neighboring towns check out “Bainbridgers” Stop Anti’s at the Bridge.  But, I digress … Fortunately, common sense, facts and logic prevailed.  It was abundantly clear from the beginning, residents and Town Board members were not in mood to entertain NYRAD nonsense. The anti-gas crowd kept deliberately interjecting fears about eminent domain and abuse of rights-of-way.  Here is a reaction from the rest of the crowd:

Ironically, NYRAD held a primer meeting on Monday in Bainbridge, NY to prep its group for this forum and they were corrected many times by audience members and professionals who had the facts about eminent domain and rights-of-way (see So, That’s Why They Call Him “Chip” Northrup). Apparently, they chose to forget what they learned and brought the issue up over and over again, trying to sow fear wherever there was a spot of rocky ground that the seeds might take root.

NYRAD folks are not particularly slick in changing the discussion to hydraulic fracturing. Listen to this speaker as he says ” what I know about pipelines is very little, but what I know…as far as the gas drilling is…” Such blatant attempts to change the subject were unfair to the individuals who actually came to discuss the pipelines and very much resented by locals.  Also, towards the end of this speech (after his 3 minutes were up), in a last-ditch effort to get one more point across, the speaker gives us a lesson in United States foreign policy.

Finally, when all else failed, the NYRAD folks resorted to being obstructionists, or as Josh Fox likes to say, engaged in civil disobedience. Here, NYRAD members resort to “jumping out of line” and speaking when it’s not their turn (very mature).

Don’t let these antics upset you, however, because we are winning (and I’m not channeling Charlie Sheen here). I know we are winning because, in the midst of all this choreographed NYRAD nonsense, supporters of this pipeline made their message heard.  They won the evening by a very simple tactic – telling the truth.  Here they are, speaking for themselves and nothing more is required.

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