Appalachian Basin

Saving Precious Land Thanks to Natural Gas

Last week I sent a letter to the New York Times following their publication of an op-ed by Sean Lennon. It’s unfortunate that they wouldn’t run my letter – especially given our experience as real organic farmers and how that experience contrasts the assertions made by Mr. Lennon.  With that, my letter is below.

Saving Precious Land Thanks to Natural Gas, in response to: “Destroying Precious Land for Gas”

Sean Lennon recalls a cow he milked when he was young, then attempts to speak on behalf of all organic farmers to declare natural gas development will render the land unlivable.

What Sean describes isn’t true. I am an actual, organic farmer in upstate New York, and while Sean has milked one cow, I have milked dozens. The hobby he enjoyed briefly supports my livelihood.

Natural gas production doesn’t conflict with organic farming. A natural gas well takes up six acres of land, which sees activity for a few weeks. This modest requirement helps keep in production hundreds of acres that might otherwise be lost due to high taxes and costs.

My husband and I love our land as only farmers can, and we know farmers aren’t going to compromise their land for a fast profit. It’s time to move past the rhetoric and take advantage of this opportunity together.


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