Appalachian Basin

We Deserve to Be More Than Pawns in Some Natural Gas Chess Game

Recently, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc. (JLCNY), of which I am a member, sent out the following letter, with which I heartily agree.  Please consider taking action on this.  It’s critical.  Governor Cuomo and the DEC have assured us the SGEIS would be released this summer.  We are now past Labor Day.  It is crucial the Governor direct the DEC to move forward with permitting as soon as possible.  Further delay into the political season will only energize opponents and ensure the debate moves ever further away from the facts the Governor says he wants decisions to be based upon.  Our upstate communities are suffering and, not just a little, but tremendously.  We deserve to be more than pawns in some political chess game.  Please take a moment, read this appeal and then take action:

Dear Friends, Landowners, and Natural Gas Supporters,

This is an URGENT CALL TO ACTION! We need your immediate assistance. Despite all of the positive news about the potential release of the final SGEIS, we have been advised by credible sources that the Governor has been asked to delay the release of the SGEIS until after the November elections. While the final decision to delay has not yet been made, we believe it is crucial for you to call the Governor and certain key legislators advising them of the importance of approving the SGEIS immediately.

We simply cannot let the politics of the fall elections intrude on the decision-making process. Three Governors have presided over the Marcellus shale opportunity. Each election cycle newly elected legislators have asked for time to be brought up to speed on natural gas development and the SGEIS. A decision delaying the SGEIS release until after the elections will push the SGEIS release into 2013.

Governor Cuomo has said that the SGEIS would be released this summer. He told Fred Dicker “I think it’s actually better that we do it when the Legislature is not here, because I don’t want a political discussion. He continued by saying: “I want to get the conversation back to facts and logic and science and information, and reduce the temperature of the conversation, pardon the pun.”

Even CBS News recently reported that it has learned that New York is expected to roll out guidelines after Labor Day.

Governor Cuomo has shown tremendous leadership on many New York issues. We have believed that he is a leader looking for real change in New York. We fully expect him to lead New York into a new era of economic prosperity.

Governor Corbett and Governor Kasich know the benefits drilling has brought to Pennsylvania and Ohio. President Obama called natural gas “an ideal energy source” and said “. . .natural gas actually burns cleaner than some other fossil fuels, and is an ideal fuel – energy source that we can potentially use for the next 100 years.” He also said: “So I want to encourage natural gas production. The key is to make sure that we do it safely and in a way that is environmentally sound. And the fact of the matter is that there a lot of folks right now that are engaging in hydraulic fracturing who are doing it safely.” Last week Bill Richardson, former US Energy Secretary under President Bill Clinton, gave an endorsement to Governor Cuomo’s efforts stating that “Natural gas is the future.” And, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently stated that natural gas is critical to improve our air quality and public health.

Delay will make the release of the SGEIS a heated campaign issue, contrary to the Governor’s hope of avoiding continued political debate. Additionally, our members and communities are facing dire circumstances. Our farms, businesses and finances are precarious. Many individuals are holding on in expectation of being able to develop their property, but they cannot hold on much longer. Every day of delay means more will have to sell out. Furthermore, perhaps no other region of the state has been harder hit by economic decline than our region. Responsible drilling is our best hope for resurgence.

Continued delay diminishes the economic benefits that could accrue to our state and our communities if drilling was permitted. In this regard, businesses are making investment decisions now that will mean jobs added in Pennsylvania instead of New York. We are aware of several instances recently where major support facilities linked to drilling have been constructed across the border rather than in New York. We have lost jobs and investment as a result.

Lastly, a delay will only serve to empower opponents, some of whom have now taken to civil disobedience and other disruptive acts. While everyone supports the right of people to express their views, we believe opponents are distorting the facts and trying to impose their views of what is right in our communities.

We must urge the Governor to direct the DEC to move forward as soon as possible with rules and regulations governing the process and to begin permitting. Please contact Governor Cuomo and these leaders in our Senate and urge them to approve the SGEIS immediately. A list of key talking points is attached.

Governor Cuomo 518 474 8390
Senator Bonacic 845 344 3311
Senator Skelos 518 455 3171
Senator Libous 877 854 2687
Senator Seward 607 432 5524
Senator Maziarz 716 434 0680
Senator O’Mara 607 776 3201

We have been fighting to bring opportunities to our communities for 4 years. We are closer to success than ever. I urge you to take a few minutes to make these important phone calls. Thank you.

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President

Now do it, unless you want to be a pawn or a pauper the rest of your life!  It isn’t pretty.


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