Appalachian Basin

The Cancer from Within

Wayne Leidecker
Chenango County Landowner

New York, and for that matter our entire country, is in serious trouble with high unemployment, homes being foreclosed on and numerous business’s closing.  There is a lot of blame to go around for both Democrats and Republicans, but the real cause of our demise is the nearsightedness of so many Americans.  Too many seem only interested in complaining and finding fault with almost everything, unless there is something in it for them.  Add in the politicians who succumb to these obstructionist whims and you have a recipe for disaster – a cancer from within.

We are witnessing the politicization of virtually everything as our politicians aggregate power to themselves.  They know little or nothing of the science yet seek to impose arbitrary regulations to satisfy one special interest after another, instead of leaving it up to science and the professionals at the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

We are seeing some of the richest and most powerful people and organizations, who benefit from slowing or stopping natural gas development here at home, such as those invested in coal or refining diesel fuel, for example, lending their support to entities whose apparent goals are to scare the average person into believing their water will be contaminated from hydraulic fracturing.  This happens even though the DEC has studied the hydraulic fracturing process extensively for over three years and has developed comprehensive regulations to protect our environment.  Even Russia is jumping on the shale gas critic train as continued development threatens their stronghold on natural gas prices and supply throughout the European and Asian continents.  Indeed at November dinner, Vladimir Putin was quoted with an elaborate criticism of shale gas, he said it was “extracted using novel technologies that he said are environmentally disastrous.”  I don’t take my truth from the Russians and I am glad to be on the other side of this discussion.

What these people who are complaining do not realize is that, when natural gas is allowed to proceed in our state, the towns and counties where drilling takes place will start to see their property and school taxes decline as the gas companies start paying the ad valorem tax.  This tax stays in the towns and counties where development occurs and will create many new jobs both in and out of the industry, reviving this eroding economy of ours (see example of calculation below).

If we all focused on becoming energy self sufficient, and turning this state and country around, we would not have had to send our troops around the world to protect our energy interests. We also would have to worry less about nefarious actors like Putin who only has his own interest and power in mind. Think about it – no more billions of dollars spent protecting foreign dictators, much less money going to OPEC, no more money filtering down to fund terrorist groups dedicated to our destruction.

Some anti-gas members of our community say we need to use renewable energy.  I think that’s great.  The problem is they are so busy fighting natural gas they fail to see the truth that natural gas is the way to get us there – a transitional source of clean energy.  We need to work together and use all our resources at our disposal to save this nation. May God bless New York and the USA!

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