gas drilling

One set of rules for me...

...and another set of rules for thee. That's the anthem of the left.

At least one Ithaca Journal commenter experienced a Captain Renault moment on Saturday:

For yea, verily, the local Gannett newspapers (the Ithaca Journal and the Elmira Star Gazette) had the audacity to publish a piece over the weekend by Jon Campbell, an article that points out the role that Ithaca's Park Foundation has played in anti-gas drilling activism.

Predictably, hypocritical hilarity ensued in the comments at the Journal.  An example:

I'm frankly shocked that Jon Campbell, who has been covering this issue for Gannett for many years, could have put his name this shoddy, obviously biased, article. It makes me wonder just who is behind it, and how far up in the Gannett chain that person is. The very idea of questioning the authenticity of the strong, effective citizens' grassroots movement in NY is absurd. Nothing but sour grapes by the industry. And that doesn't qualify as journalism.

I can't tell you how many times some of us have been accused of being shills for the gas industry because obviously NO ONE could be part of a "grassroots movement" in favor of safe, regulated energy development in NYS.  Such a notion is patently ridiculous to folks like the woman who wrote the above comment. And yet she clearly expects the kid-glove treatment when it's her pet "grassroots movement" that is the subject of discussion.

And on a related note, a little blurb from the same edition of the Star Gazette:

Model legislation is topic of movie
 



CORNING — The League of Women Voters of Steuben County will show the film “The Unit­ed States of ALEC” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Southeast Steuben County Library in Cor­ning. The screening is free to the public. Calling itself an edu­cational charity, the American Legislative Exchange Council devel­ops what it calls “model legislation” for state legislators to introduce in their own name into their respective state legislatures.



But detractors claim it is a group of corpora­tions and wealthy indi­viduals who push their agenda, which ranges from privatization of education to ending collective bargaining.

As I've noted in past posts, the League of Women Voters is not some group of kindly, non-partisan blue-haired ladies—more of a red-headed league. Yes, they have an agenda.

And ALEC has been a target of the left for quite some time. Why? ALEC is about—gasp!—"limited government, free markets, federalism." 

So assuming that, as its "detractors claim it is a group of corpora­tions and wealthy indi­viduals who push their agenda," where's the problem exactly?  Don't Adelaide Gomer of the Park Foundation, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, et al—including corporate entities—fund and push leftist agendas?

Hypocrisy is the hallmark of the left.

Protection racket

Painting of Dryden, NY:

Well, some people consider Dryden the Garden of Eden.  This guest viewpoint appeared in the Ithaca Journal recently:

On a cold and sunny day, I enjoy the peace winter seems to bring. The glistening of sunlight on the new-fallen snow is a welcome sight. As I walk out to feed the goats, I chuckle at the cat as she backtracks to the barn in the same prints she left as she trotted out to meet me. I gaze around at the blue sky, breathe the clean air and exhale a sigh of relief.
 
My town is abundantly blessed and ever thankful for our ban on fracking. A ban means I will be able to keep good health, finish the home I began building and resume investing in my community. Without a ban, the effects of fracking would have forced me to move. My American dream will remain intact. I won’t be forced to give up my gas rights by compulsory integration, or forced out by eminent domain.
 
I conducted thousands of hours of independent study and traveled the country to investigate the far-reaching effects of fracking. A process of extreme extractive mining is eating up rural America’s food producing farmlands like Pac-Man. In New York, enormous scale is planned, conquering entire regions of peaceful rural neighborhoods filled with unsuspecting residents, unaware of industrial takeover. Knowing neighboring wells will likely ruin the farm I was raised on leaves me sleepless.
 
Each phase of extreme extraction brings a certainty of pollution, damage and a measure of high-risk chemical exposure.
 
I grew up in Greene, in the so-called “sacrifice zone.” Industry cannot restrain toxic air nor confine the damages to only the drill pad. Neighboring dairies and croplands will be exposed to lethal venting causing air pollution. My hometown remains a target without a protective ban and can suffer from drilling upstream, beyond its borders. My friend, biologist Sandra Steingraber, teaches that the known effects of environmental illnesses and cancers produced by fracking pads are unacceptable.
 
Cornell engineer Tony Ingraffea states that 6 percent of all horizontal gas wells leak initially; all eventually fail. Fracking produces billions of gallons of chemical and radioactive waste stored in injection wells. No monetary fine can cover the incalculable collective toll to health, air, water and farming that fracking produces.
 
The Marcellus shale is not a viable source of fuel according to the evidence provided by scientists to New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation detailing costs. The DEC’s mission is to ensure a healthy environment and also to exploit natural resources, an inherent conflict.
 
Americans from Wyoming, Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania are sharing their experiences; New Yorkers are acting. A tenacious Ron Gulla shouted at EPA, “Is Pennsylvania worth fighting for? Yes! Worth dying for? Hell, yes! But not from a glass of water!”
 
The Community Environmental Defense Counsel of Ithaca helps towns protect their schools, parks and cemeteries from fracking. The people of Greene are unprotected. Coming together can save a town; silence results industry takeover. Action by a small group of residents to proclaim their community be protected by law from industrial takeover is now critical to keep Greene clean. The Trojans should mount up.

But not everyone wants another's world view imposed on them in the guise of protection from threat, real or imagined.  For Henry Kramer, freedom trumps "protection":
 
In her February 15 guest column, DRAC member Joanne Cipolla-Dennis recites the most extreme claims made by energy development opponents as facts, rather than opinions.  This is the “big lie technique,” if you repeat allegations often enough as fact people believe them.
 
Regarding the “big lie” see Mein Kampf, “In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily ….  They would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”
 
Cipolla-Dennis lauds the Town of Dryden for “protecting Dryden” and enforcing the type of town and life style Cipolla-Dennis loves.  But not all of us want or need to be “protected,” nor do we share Cipolla-Dennis’ pessimistic view of development and change.  We prefer to have freedom of choice of action on what we do and how we live, without being “protected” and stripped of our freedoms via Dryden enacting Cipolla-Dennis’ world view into law.
 
Cipolla-Dennis overlooks individual freedom and individual rights to choose how to live and how to husband one’s own property.  Anti-frackers say they favor “home rule,” yet stop the principle of home rule at the town board level.  Why should a town board make decisions for all residents and landowners?  What special expertise do town boards have?  Why shouldn’t each home owner be free to make individual decisions on issues on which the public in our state is about evenly divided?
 
Sadly, many of the people who would ban energy development, keep it out of their own back yard, and deplore everything about it, still use its products.  Until they abandon the use of all fossil fuels, including gasoline, and live off the grid, they are morally bound to bear their share of the risks of production.
 
The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition supports energy development with careful safeguards.  Development is not risk free.  But, development offers a chance for high paying jobs, capital for land rich but cash poor farmers, new tax base to support and improve our schools, and perhaps most critically energy independence for our nation, freeing us from potential wars and being beholden to other countries. Why is it that anti-frackers rarely consider or admit there can be any positives from development?  We at DSEC thinks risks can be safely managed, but DRAC seems to admit no positive values in development.  A sense of balance is needed.
 
It should not take five years to determine the safety of fracking.  Fracking at vertical wells has been done in NY for decades and at horizontal wells in other states for years.  It is not for more information we delay, but to kill development.  Meanwhile NY residents, among the highest taxed in the nation, lack new sources of revenue to pay for our safety nets.

Freedom is precious.  “Protecting Dryden” is a code phrase covering another transfer of power to government.  Choose freedom over “protection.”
 

Claptrap

This isn't the Wild West, you know.  Or is it?

We and our contributors have mentioned more than once one of the more ludicrous objections to hydrofracking in this neck of the woods...the problem of—gasp!—transients.  You know, those people that drive up the price of housing, cause traffic jams, engage in public drunkeness, wreaking havoc near and far and then leaving destruction in their wake as they hightail it out of town.

Sorta like students.

The Ithaca Journal ran a piece by Jon Campbell, 'splainin' why DEC Commissioner Joe Martens decided "to delay a decision on hydrofracking and further assess its health impacts..."

That makes it sound as though Babs Lifton and her fellow travelers got their way.

Not so much.

If you have the patience to stick with the entire article to the bitter end, you find out that "Martens dismissed requests from environmental and medical groups to hire an outside, nongovernmental group to perform a health assessment..."

So what actualy happened?

It went more like this:

...The groups would require that DEC conduct an outside health study that would determine the outcome of the final decision. I reject that demand. I believe it is highly likely that some of these groups will pursue litigation following the conclusion of the Departmental process if they do not agree with the outcome.
 

I believe deferring to an outside group or entity would be an inappropriate delegation of a governmental responsibility. Government is the public's independent reviewer: that is the essence of the current process. To suggest private interests or academic experts bring more independence to the process than government is exactly wrong. Many experts in this field have an opinion - pro or con- which could influence the process. Nor could one ever be sure that there weren't potential conflicts of interest with outside consultants if they were to actually direct the outcome. It is the government's responsibility to ensure objectivity and a review directed by DEC and the Department of Health is without bias.
 
The Governor's instructions have been clear from the outset - let the science determine the outcome...
 
...Accordingly, I have asked and NYS Health Commissioner Nirav Shah has agreed to assess the Department's health impact analysis. I have also asked Dr. Shah to identify the most qualified outside experts to advise him in his review. While the review will be informed by outside perspectives on the science of hydrofracking, the decision-making will remain a governmental responsibility....
One could raise the question of why we can't consider the experience of other states where hydrofracking goes on and where health impact studies have already been conducted, rather than spending NYS taxpayer dollars re-inventing the wheel. 
 
But never mind.
 
So what exactly are the health impacts of hydrofracking that we need to be afraid of?
 
Hilarity ensues.  At the NYDN:
In their desperation to block Gov. Cuomo from giving the okay for fracking in New York...the enviro-activists have demanded that state officials explore an alleged link between fracking and — we kid you not — syphilis.

They argue that a drilling boom would draw an influx of male workers from other states who would engage in activities of a kind that would spread sexually transmitted diseases...

And that increased truck traffic would not only lead to more road fatalities, but would also — again, no kidding — discourage people from getting the outdoor exercise they need to stay fit.

This is absurd...

...What fracking opponents really want is not a study of imagined risks, but many more months of wheel-spinning in Albany — and additional fodder for litigation...

...The opponents tried to push DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens into hiring a public health consultant to check out the danger of venereal diseases and all the rest.

Smartly, he went only so far as to ask Health Commissioner Nirav Shah to review whether DEC has appropriately considered health concerns...
The jig is up, anti's. People are only just barely able to stifle their laughter. 


h/t South of 5 and 20, UB, & Publius

The toxicologist, the teacher...

...and left-leaning Lee Rayburn.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that "Cuomo Proposal Would Restrict Gas Drilling to a Struggling Area" in the Southern Tier.

On the heels of that story, Uni Blake, founder of WELC, Women's Energy Leadership Coalition, was interviewed on WHCU this morning by Lee Rayburn, formerly of Air America. 

 

After Lee got off his soapbox got done speaking with Uni, he then interviewed Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton—listen to the difference here. Listen to the hysterical tone, the "everybody knows" logic (isn't that a logical fallacy? Argumentum ad populum?), the softball questions—when he could get one in edgewise—from Rayburn. He could have read a thorough debunking of Babs' points in "Lifton Tea, Bitter from the First Drop" prior to the interview, but I'm sure that's too much to expect.

After all, there's no media bias at work here, oh no. Just the oil and gas industry, "with their infinite resources...losing the PR battle."

Can you say "Park Foundation"?

Dryden: It's spelled H-U-B-R-I-S

We can argue endlessly about what effect low voter turnout rates have on the concept of "majority rule"—is the majority even really a majority the way most people understand the term?—but there's no doubt that one of the driving forces behind the construction of the US Constitution was protecting the rights of the minority from the "tyranny of the 51%".

And the founders viewed the protection of property rights as integral to protecting against tyranny—John Adams wrote, "Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist."

But as time has passed and people have forgotten or just never learned about why we fought a war of independence and composed the Constitution, and as the politics of envy has come to dominate politics in the US, property rights have been under attack.

Dryden is just the rest of the country writ small.  There's a story to tell here, a cautionary tale.

First, some background...

About a dozen years ago, 58 sites within the Town of Dryden, encompassing over 10,000 acres or a little less than 17% of the town, were designated Unique Natural Areas (UNAs).  These were "sites with outstanding environmental qualities, as defined by the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council, that are deserving of special attention for preservation and protection." The original county-wide inventory of UNA sites started out as a master's thesis at Cornell in 1976 and was added to over the years until it became an official county and town designation around 2000. Affected landowners were contacted by the town and the sites visited to make sure that landowners were on board with the process of UNA designation.

Over 30 years ago (about the same time Earth Day was invented and those UNAs were being inventoried for a Cornell master's thesis), NYS DEC created a designation called a Critical Environmental Area or CEA:

To be designated as a CEA, an area must have an exceptional or unique character with respect to one or more of the following:

a benefit or threat to human health;
a natural setting (e.g., fish and wildlife habitat, forest and vegetation, open space and areas of important aesthetic or scenic quality);
agricultural, social, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, or educational values; or
an inherent ecological, geological or hydrological sensitivity to change that may be adversely affected by any change.

Pretty vague…almost anything could be designated a CEA.

Furthermore:

Following designation, the potential impact of any Type I or Unlisted Action on the environmental characteristics of the CEA is a relevant area of environmental concern and must be evaluated in the determination of significance prepared pursuant to Section 617.7 of SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review).

Hmmm….

Type I actions meet or exceed thresholds listed in the statewide or agency SEQR regulations. These are likely to require preparation of an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement). Some examples:

nonresidential projects physically altering 10 or more acres of land
zoning changes affecting 25 or more acres

Type I actions do not always require an EIS.

and

Unlisted actions do not meet the Type I thresholds but some may still require an EIS. Some examples:

nonresidential projects physically altering less than 10 acres of land
adoption of regulations, ordinances, local laws and resolutions that may affect the environment

Despite the crunchy granola origins of all this back in the 70s and early 80s, when you might have thought that everyone in the state would have been jumping on the CEA bandwagon, CEA designations are actually fairly rare…until Dryden.  

There are 62 counties in NYS; only 28 of those counties have CEAs within their boundaries. Half of those 28 counties, including Tompkins County, have only one CEA currently designated. The big winner (if you can call it that) in the CEA contest is Suffolk County on Long Island with 46, next are Dutchess and Westchester with 34 apiece. The remaining counties have between one and eight CEAs.

The Town of Dryden wants to designate 35 CEAs within town limits (there is only one CEA currently designated in the rest of the county, in the Town of Ithaca), which would encompass about 62% of the surface area of the town. CEA boundaries were presented as being carefully thought out and having some demonstrable reason for being drawn where they were. 

Dryden Town Council, an elected board consisting of the town supervisor and 4 councilpersons, has a few unelected, unpaid advisory boards to assist them, including a Conservation Board and a Planning Board—that's in addition to a paid town Planning Department consisting of a planning director and five additional staff members…this in a 95-square-mile town with a population of 14,400, about 1/4 of whom are children.

Because of the agricultural nature of the town, when the town comprehensive plan was being adopted in 2005, it was recommended that one of the advisory boards be an agriculture board.  It has yet to exist, although at a March 2012 town council meeting, names and résumés of members of the ag community willing to serve on such a board were presented to the council.  It was suggested that the new ag board be charged with reviewing CEAs and that nothing final happen on CEAs until the ag board had reviewed them.

So where are we right now?

As understanding spread of what owning property (and I now use that phrase advisedly) within a CEA might entail—SEQRs, EISs, special use permit applications—so did pushback.  After public resistance took various forms including attendance and speaking at town council meetings, the whole CEA document was sent back from the town council to the conservation board (CB) for more work. Unlike UNA designations years ago, CEA boundaries had been drawn up without consultation with the affected landowners; it now sounded as though the CB would be reviewing the CEAs a few at a time, but this time in consultation with the landowners involved, on a CEA-by-CEA basis.

Ummm…not so much.

What has become apparent in correspondence between the planning department and the CB is this:
  • There is no intention of changing the number of CEAs or the amount of acreage in the town that will be designated as CEA property. The idea is simply to strengthen the existing CEA document against well-founded attacks from those with the audacity to question "authority."
  • Changes might be made to some CEAs but the changes would be superficial rather than substantive…just enough to hopefully hoodwink the hoi polloi.
  • Weekly meetings of the CB will occur with CEAs being "reviewed" in clumps of 5, so as to turn over each batch to the town council for rubber-stamping and sending on to DEC before the seating of any agricultural advisory board could take place.
  • In fact, there never was any intention of letting landowners have a say in the completion of this process, a process now intended to be finished within two months.
  • Why the increased sense of urgency on the part of the CB and the town council? A member of the CB said at their March meeting that they could not allow the DEC to issue its final findings on permitting drilling in NYS—thereby possibly thwarting the town's plans—before the Dryden CEA designation process was done.
  • CEA boundary designations are in fact arbitrary and based on what "feels good" to the board rather than based on a process that is well-defined and reproducible from proposed CEA to proposed CEA.
  • In the planner's opinion, all lands bordering a CEA will be considered an automatic buffer zone. Some townspeople had said that they thought the entire town should be designated a CEA. Sounds as though this is a step in that direction.
  • Rather than sitting down with affected landowners to discuss the designation of their property as a CEA, the town will "attempt" to send landowners a notice of a relevant CB meeting or a public hearing.
Even DEC in a sort of bizarre way recognized that the very designation they created was in fact a problem:
14. Can reviews of actions involving CEAs be managed to avoid creating undue hardships?
 
…A community or agency can help reduce hardships that may be associated with the existence of a CEA if they critically evaluate the size and boundaries of the CEA when it is being drafted.

This isn't about protecting the environment.  It's not about pine trees and salamanders—it's about control.

Renters may find that their landlords are unable to make changes to their property that would in fact benefit them, the tenants. Farmers end up being sharecroppers who have to ask permission of "massa" in order to do perfectly reasonable things that would not have required town involvement before.

Not only have subsurface rights been stolen by a drilling ban, now surface rights are being taken as well.

But—you still have the right to pay taxes.

If you don't think all this is a problem, go read up on "unlisted actions" and "SEQRs" and the like.  The town will say that this is a tempest in a teapot—that if your property is in a CEA and you want to make changes to it, all the CEA designation will do is trigger a SEQR…an invitation, if you will, to DEC to take a closer look.  No big deal…nothing to see here, move along…pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.  

Right.  

Think of the paperwork, the money, the crazymaking interminable reviews that will be necessary that hadn't been necessary before.  And all so that you can do perfectly reasonable things—maybe, if you're given permission—on what you thought was property that you owned.  

Silly you.  

John Adams also wrote, "The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet' and `Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free."

The arrogance of these people is just stunning.

 

David v. Goliath and the tyranny of the majority

From Andy Leahy at NYShaleGasNow, a great update to—no, a very informative expansion on—the Chump Change post below. Read and learn:

...NYC hasn't purchased all, or even most, of this misleadingly green-shaded land — either outright in fee, or by easement against development.  It's true NYC owns rights to all the land that it long ago flooded, or built upon, to create its water system.  And it's true the city Water Department has made some additional purchases since.  But not much of what lies upstream.  In fact, former DEC Commissioner Alexander "Pete" Grannis used to give speeches in which he pointedly noted that some 70 percent of this upstream land remains privately owned...
 

...In these drinking water watershed situations (On this phrasing, here's a reminder to Earth Science-impaired media representatives:  All land lays in a watershed), the state's drill/no-drill regulatory distinctions have been unsatisfactorily explained as being not so much about the realistic risk of surface spills, or the unrealistic risk of uncontrolled returns from depth, of spent or unspent frack water.  Instead, it's been explained as being more about the risk of much less spectacular sediment runoff from drillsite and access road construction.  Sediment.  Or, more to the point, it's really more about the regulatory risk that the federal EPA will view such surface disturbances as a reason to strip NYC and Syracuse of their money-saving filtration waivers — regardless of whether there's much actually foreseeable impact from drilling, and regardless of whether there are any public health benefits to be gained from filtering the water supplies already...

...Leaving aside the highly questionable risk-assessment validity of these ever-expanding no-drill takings, as put forth by NYC, a question of fairness remains:  Should the many urban, water-drinking, peaceful-of-mind beneficiaries of these regulatory "protections" compensate the many fewer private landowners for their lost economic opportunities?  

Or is it okay for the majority to economically oppress the minority, just because it's politically stronger?  Going all the way back to the days of King George, and to the drafting of the American Bill of Rights, isn't the system of free, private ownership of land intended to set limits upon this kind of oppression?  And should we be careful what we wish for, when we conspire in silence to excuse such blatant exceptions?

Delaware County's resolution says, in all fairness, reparations must be made — and this document is the latest salvo in an Upstate-Downstate dispute which long pre-dates the much younger Shale Gas Debates...

There's much more—definitely read the whole thing.  Thanks, Andy.

$5M theft in Dryden? Chump change

In fact (click on the image to listen)

At The Mountain Eagle:

MARGARETVILLE - As the state puts the finishing touches on new regulations for gas exploration in New York, elected officials in Delaware County are unhappy the proposed regulations could prevent the county from extracting much of the gas that lies deep beneath the ground. It is estimated that as much as 80 percent of the gas in the county could be off-limits if the proposed regulations become law. And if the proposed regulations go through as currently written, county officials want to be compensated for the lost revenue.
 
It was announced at the February meeting of the Coalition of Watershed Towns tthe Delaware County Board of Supervisors plans to vote on a resolution that seeks compensation for the value of the gas, estimated to exceed $81 billion in gross sales...
 
...According to Dean Frasier of the Delaware County Office of Watershed Affairs, the Board of Supervisors will be discussing a resolution that calls for New York City compensating it for the lost revenue should NYC succeed in having watershed lands off-limits to gas exploration....
And this isn't some evil, greedy gas company who would be suing—it'd be a NYS county suing NYS as well as NYC.
 
We here at Redneck Mansion at first read the dateline on this story as
 
 
"Margaritaville" 
 
Those folks in Delaware County could import their own sand to relax on while they sit 'n sip drinks with little umbrellas in them.
 
This stuff's not going away, people.
 

Getting the vapors

Heh.  Related to our recent post, from South of 5 and 20:

Earlier this month, the Finger Lakes' anti-prosperity elites got the vapors when every news outlet in the free world screamed that Obama's EPA* had determined hydraulic fracturing in Pavillion, Wyoming had polluted water wells.  Our local status quo gang assured us that this was the death knell for fracking....

And what does South say "EPA" stands for? You'll just have to read the whole thing.

Gasland redux

Oh, the power of innuendo.  At The Daily, "School Knows Frack-tions":

...Dozens of districts are closing budget shortfalls with fracking leases, especially in Pennsylvania and Texas.
 

However, fracking, which involves the injection of high-pressure liquids underground to extract gas and oil, is controversial. Opponents worry about polluted water and other environmental damage. The industry contends the method is safe, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced this month that fracking may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution in Pavillion, Wyo....
That's it, except to note that "School district and company officials did not return phone calls. "

Read the whole thing (it won't take very long—like most things in The Daily, it's what amounts to a sound byte). Compare it with this:
...The draft EPA findings, released Thursday, said compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath Pavillion, a small community in central Wyoming where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals.
 
But at a State Capitol press conference with Gov. Matt Mead, [Interior Secretary Ken] Salazar said the EPA’s findings were only preliminary and haven’t yet been reviewed by other scientists.
 
“We’ll see what happens with this Pavillion study,” Salazar said. “And I think it’s important that the real facts finally get to the table with respect to the peer review and seeing whether there’s something specific with respect to that basin that is different from what we have across the country.”

Salazar said fracking “can be done and is being done safely” in the United States...
Oh.  Well, that sounds a little different doesn't it?  The Daily story does say that "fracking may be to blame..."   But many people who attended a PAUSE presentation in Newfield in October greeted with utter disbelief the doubts expressed by CSI's Steve Penningroth about the validity of the oft-quoted Duke study on methane in drinking water. How likely would those folks be to think that the jury is still out on the EPA Pavillion study?
 
And we're talking about schools here. So The Daily is slyly engaging in the kind of fear-mongering that avante-garde director Josh Fox raised (almost) to the level of art in Gasland.
 
And they wonder why we're skeptical.
 

Chutzpah

Gasland with all its errors and misrepresentations goes on and on, continuing to be screened before an adoring public, but what follows seldom sees the light of day. And I thought this kind of interference in matters beyond the scope of governing a small American city only happened in Ithaca. From NewsChannel 34:

The City of Binghamton is looking to help a group of residents in Dimock who say they've run out of clean water.
 
Wednesday was the last day that Cabot Oil and Gas was forced to deliver daily water supplies to some residents on Carter Road after a drilling operation contaminated their water several years ago. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection okayed the stoppage, agreeing that the water is safe. However, impacted residents say it's not safe to use. They did appeal the DEP's decision, but were denied.  As a result, an effort was spear-headed to get clean water delivered to the residents. Mayor Matt Ryan, who has been a vocal anti-fracking politician, says he is looking at helping the group down in Dimock. For at least one day, the city would provide a water truck to fill water buffaloes that people have near their homes. 
 
Julie Sautner says residents are willing to pay for the water from an account that has been set up at Montrose Lake. Sautner says the offer for assistance is a temporary relief. "At least we're going to have water. I keep going out there, saying oh my God, how low are we? Because nothing is coming today. We're used to having a delivery everyday. I tell my kids, take ten minute showers, instead of 20 minute showers or whatever."...
No wonder they're out of water.  Read the rest.


At EID Marcellus:

The mayor of a city so down and out it can’t keep its senior services going, fix its sewage treatment plant or collect its water bills is going to use Binghamton City taxpayer funds to serve the ideological desires of a distinct minority (mostly from far outside the City) who would bankrupt this entire State before allowing natural gas development!...

...And, by the way, does the Mayor know he needs a permit to haul water into Pennsylvania?  Has he received a request for Mutual Aid by Dimock Township? Does he know the EPA just found Dimock’s water to be safe?

Witness the unmitigated gall of "interloper" Mayor Ryan speaking to some riled-up Dimock residents:

As we had written in a previous post, the mere sight of NYS tags on a car in Susquehanna County can make some of the natives pretty ornery.  This was another instance of why that is.

Probably the same people shouting for "home rule" in NYS want to be able to tell the people of not only another town but another state what to do.

And Foxy Josh was in Dimock today and was greeted by this:

Energy development's own 99ers are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore. It's about time.

 

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