Appalachian Basin

Suggested Ten Commandments for Gov. Cuomo on Natural Gas

Natural gas advocate and Sullivan County, New York, landowner, Inge Grafe-Kieklak, delivers Ten Commandments for Governor Cuomo as he bobs and weaves his way through (or is it out of) the hydraulic fracturing issue.

I have been active in trying to bring natural gas development to our region of New York for five years now.  Watching the machinations of New York State politics and Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding this issue has made me realize Upstate citizens are being used as pawns in some chess game with the Natural Resources Defense Council and it’s allies, who have major land interests in our area.  I’m tired of being used and treated like a child by the governor as he negotiates deals with these people.

Governor Cuomo seems fond of delivering commandments and moralization’s.  Well, I have some for him.  Here are my Ten Commandments for the Governor of New York, who works for me and you, after all:

1.  Thou shall not hinder development of jobs…New York State is already ranked at 50th place in the nation (dead last) by the Tax Foundation.  We don’t need any more obstacles to economic development, Governor Cuomo.  We need to open our arms to jobs.

2.  Thou shall not listen to only one part of the citizenry…Over the top environmentalism may be trendy and a religion to some of your Manhattan friends, Governor, but a new poll by Siena College shows 42% of your constituents support and only 36% oppose use of hydraulic fracturing to develop our natural gas resources.

3.  Thou shall not speak one way and act the other way…You say you want a balanced approach, Governor, but you let your DEC Commissioner put three current or former Senior NRDC Attorneys on the hydraulic fracturing advisory committee that’s supposed to guide this process.

4.  Thou shall not insult the intelligence of the citizens…Governor, you say “There’s fear of poisoning,” in hopes of appeasing a vocal minority, while ignoring the overwhelming evidence to the contrary in your DEC’s own SGEIS and public statements that hydraulic fracturing “can be done safely.”

5.  Thou shall not think one is king when employed and paid by citizens…Governor Cuomo, contrary to your statements about letting science decide the issue, you have made it clear all decisions are made by your office and they’re made politically, not scientifically.

6.  Thou shall not think respect and trust comes with a title…You have tried to walk the top of the fence, Governor, throwing tidbits of political encouragement to both sides in a vain attempt to appear above it all, but you have now managed to earn the mistrust of both pro- natural gas and anti-natural gas activists.

7.  Thou shall not think leadership is catering to celebrities and avoiding decisions…Governor, you keep finding ways to avoid decision by delays, studies and, apparently, listening to celebrities with no expertise.  It’s time to end this leadership-fail and take the action you know is necessary to save Upstate.

8.  Thou shall not spend tax money for television ads telling the world New York is open for business when it’s notYour advertisements, Governor, are in stark contrast to your failure to develop hydraulic fracturing rules other states have managed to get done in months, not years.

9.  Thou shall not think “the City” is the center of the universe…There are real people who live Upstate and are hurting tremendously for lack of income, jobs and futures due, Governor, to your failure to act on something your DEC Commissioner already acknowledges can be done safely.

10.  Thou shall not run for reelection or the presidency without first becoming a leader and statesman for all…How, Governor Cuomo, are you going to face Ohio voters and convince them you produced jobs in New York when you can’t even stare down Yoko Ono?


Yoko Ono and Son Sean Lennon


And, one more thing, Governor Cuomo, if you want more advice, because I think you need it, you can contact me, a real person from outside government and Hollywood who knows what it’s like trying to make a living in Upstate New York and what needs to be done about it.  It’s simple and it’s staring you right in the face, but it’s hard.  That’s what leadership is, making the difficult decisions and not trying to slide past them with ever-changing rhetoric.  Pay attention to the Ten Commandments, please.


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