fracking

Fair and balanced?

This story from WKTV-Utica from mid-July has some landowners both in NYS and in Bradford County, PA pretty steamed:

The landowners from both PA and NYS we met with in northeastern PA recently not only adamantly denied that the claims made in this report are true—and indeed made the case that the claims are demonstrably false—but were not happy with the NYS residents that they say come down in groups, not just to poke around Bradford and Susquehanna Counties looking for evidence of animals keeling over within two steps after drinking "contaminated" water, but to disrupt meetings of PA landowner groups. I was embarrassed to be a New Yorker.

And we saw some indirect evidence of the unwelcome presence of NYS anti-development people in Susquehanna County in the distinctly hostile behavior of a landowner when he spotted us in a vehicle with New York tags taking pictures of his land being prepared for drilling.  Can't say that I blame him—it's hard to imagine what he's had to put up with from the "anti's".

WKTV was supposed to do a follow-up to this story to provide some balance, but I couldn't find any evidence that they had in fact done so.  If someone knows of such a thing, please pass it along in the comments.

It would appear that it doesn't matter what you say as long as you're impeding progress.

UPDATE: Thanks to NY Shale Gas Now for the link to the follow-up story at WKTV that came about "after CNY landowners complained about the coverage":

WHCU interview on Dryden drilling ban..."We'll have to agree to disagree."

Dave Vieser's interview of Dryden Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner on WHCU this morning, following the town board vote on Tuesday evening to ban energy development within the town, is here—it's about 9 min., 30 sec.  Listen for Supervisor Sumner's response(s) to Vieser's twice-asked question about taking away property rights.

"A government of laws and not of men." -- John Adams

First, a little context...the highest-ranking law enforcement officer for NYS, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is, according to his bio at ny.gov, "responsible for representing New York and its residents in legal matters."  Got it?

And

Schneiderman has worked to restore the public’s faith in its public and private sector institutions by focusing on areas including public integrity, economic justice, social justice and environmental protection.

The alarms inside your head should be going off now.

He apparently also needs a copyeditor:

He was also a public interest lawyer for many years, representing taxpayers in historic lawsuits against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), tenants trying to evict drug dealers from their buildings, and women seeking access to health clinics.

This paragon of public virtue sued "tenants trying to evict drug dealers from their buildings, and women seeking access to health clinics"?  I'm pretty sure that's not what he meant, although it is what he said. But I digress.

According to the April 22, 2000 People's Weekly World (the earlier iteration of what is now the People's World, a Marxist newspaper based in NYC that is the official organ of the Communist Party USA) Schneiderman told the 2000 Working Families Party convention

There's been an incredible explosion of wealth...the two parties have presided over this shift, in which the rich have kept all the money.

Scheiderman added that due to tax cuts for the wealthy "there won't be any money for people's needs."

Got that?  It should sound real familiar to folks in Assemblywoman Babs' 125th district—and Babs and Eric are fellow travelers on gas drilling issues.

UPDATE: From South of 5 and 20Eric Schneiderman, you say? Al Sharpton's pal?  Good one...we'd momentarily forgotten that those two were BFFs.

Now fast forward to 2011.  AG Schneiderman wants to defend landowners' rights. Wait...in view of the above that sounds absurd, says you.  You're right—it is absurd:

....the U.S. government will seek a dismissal of the suit filed by Schneiderman’s office earlier this year [New York v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 11- cv-2599, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn). Citation at Bloomberg—tvm].  The AG filed his suit back on May 31, claiming the government is allowing the controversial natural-gas extraction process to move forward in the Delaware River Basin without a proper environmental review...
 

....“There’s not been a ruling yet,” Schneiderman said of the suit. “We’re dealing with the hydrfracking issue at several levels.”

Among those levels is the rights of property owners. Schneiderman said his office has received several complaints from landowners who say gas companies are trying to extend leases during the ongoing environmental review process from the Department of Environmental Conservation...

He added, “This is not a frack or don’t frack issue. It’s about the fair treatment of landowners.”

Whatever regulations the DEC does develop, Schneiderman would have to defend them in court...

Ah.

In view of AG Holder's selective enforcement practices at the federal level when it comes to laws he doesn't like and in view of AG Schneiderman's opinions on things like "social justice" and his public position on fracking when he was in the state senate, how do you think it will turn out in NYS if AG Schneiderman doesn't like how the DEC regs come down?

Me, too.

h/t Tom

The resistance stiffens

In today's Ithaca Journal:

Dryden -- A new group focused on hydraulic fracturing in Dryden said they are neither pro- nor anti-fracking, and its members do not all have leases, nor do they all have large parcels of land that are appealing to gas companies.
 

The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition members do not adhere to the "Drill, baby, drill" line of thinking, nor do they support the total drilling ban pending in the Town of Dryden, said Henry Kramer, one of the group's organizers...

RTR and, as always, read the comments, too.

The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition can be found here as well as in the "Local Links" block over there in the left sidebar.

Recent One of Nine posts regarding the upcoming August 2nd Dryden Town Board vote on a zoning ordinance amendment that would prohibit energy development in the town are here and here.

Thanks to NYShaleGasNow for providing the inspiration for this post's title:

Bare knuckle boxing

The team of McAleer and McElhinney have scored a K.O. (h/t Chrissy the Hyphenated).  Sure and doesn't journalism beat censorship in the end every time?

...we have been victorious over the attempts to censor our journalism. As you know, Phelim's questioning of Josh Fox, the director of Gasland, was removed from YouTube after Fox used his expensive lawyers to make a false copyright claim.

Well, after a lengthy appeals process we have won and YouTube has restored our video which shows Fox being forced to admit that he behaved unethically and withheld important facts from viewers.
 
These facts would have completely undermined a central thesis of Gasland and, pushed into a corner, Phelim forced Fox to admit that he knew the facts but withheld them because "they were not relevant"...
Click on the photo to watch Phelim McAleer's video.
 
And who knew there was an organization called Republican Party Animals? Sounds like fun to me.
Also, Ann will be speaking at Republican Party Animals event this Saturday.
Lastly:
PS We thought you might like this non-apology apology from Newt Gingrich whose support for Global Warming alarmism and Nancy Pelosi pretty much scuppered his chances of securing the Republican nomination for President.
John L. Sullivan would be proud.

A Dryden farmer speaks...

...very eloquently—Evan Carpenter on changing "viewscapes" and property rights, at the Dryden Town Board public hearing last Wednesday, July 20th.

Let's not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Mercifully, while we bitter clingers at Redneck Mansion here in greater metro Moonbatville have been otherwise engaged, The Lonely Conservative and company have been covering the energy beat....

Funny—Ayn Rand said this would happen:

Ronnie Bryant, the owner of a coal mine, showed up for a town hall style meeting on environmental justice in Alabama and after listening to all of the griping and complaining he made up his mind on how to proceed. He’s going Galt.

RTR.

But is Atlas actually shrugging?  One of LC's contributors who frequently writes on energy development issues, Unlikely Hospitalist, has a different take:

Highlighted by the Lonely Conservative herself is the untenable position that Ronnie Bryant finds himself. Reaching his wits end, he has decided to call it quits and throw in the towel. You could say he is going Galt and that may indeed be an apt description, but Mr. Bryant is quitting before the fight has been waged. These environmental activists are vocal, well financed fools and hypocrites who exert their influence through intimidation. They cannot win the arguments on the basis of fact or science and are left emotional gamesmanship to manipulate the masses....

Gee...do you think there's an alternative to this approach available? At the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition's website, it says that group's mission is

To offer balanced, data driven information on safe energy development, to logically and numerically evaluate benefit-to-risk ratios, free of emotional bias or ideology, and to bring together people interested in an analytical approach to energy issues.

But I digress...

...We are on the cusp of victory over an environmental lobby flush with cash and short on argument. The fight now is a political one and in spite of all the rhetoric, New Yorkers are anxious for an economic revival and cheap gas. Be strong, hassle your representatives and senators and don’t be afraid to speak out. There is plenty of time to go Galt, but don’t quit while the battle is being won...

Read the whole thing.

And lastly (for now):

We’re surrounded by so many stupid people who buy into the crap the left is spewing, but we’ll never see them turn off their power. Where the heck do they think it comes from?

So, Dryden residents, turn up the heat on our elected representatives. They intend to vote Tuesday, August 2nd, on the proposed amendment to the existing town zoning ordinance, an amendment that bans all energy development and associated activities (not just fracking per se) in the town:

Mary Ann Sumner, Dryden Town Supervisor: supervisor@dryden.ny.us

David Makar, Dryden Town Board member: dmakar@dryden.ny.us

Jason Leifer, Dryden Town Board member: jleifer@dryden.ny.us

Steve Stelick, Dryden Town Board Member: sstelick@dryden.ny.us

Joe Solomon, Dryden Town Board member:  jsolomon@dryden.ny.us

"From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean."

Well, maybe that line from the prologue to Romeo and Juliet overstates things just a tad—we're not quite at the "civil blood" stage in Dryden and presumably won't be—but there's no doubt that we're at the "civic groundwater pollution" stage and actually have been for some time...see the videos that are linked in this post from June if you doubt it.

More of the same occurred this past week at the Dryden Town Board public hearing and you can see some videos in this blog entry, "Will Dryden Go Dry?"  And if only there were video available of one of these same speakers cautioning against the town overreaching its authority at the April town board meeting and being loudly booed by his moral and intellectual superiors.

The aforementioned blog entry, by the way, contains some valuable information, such as

...The proposed ordinance amendment  is written so naively as to prohibit not only drilling but also pipelines, gas-related offices, storage or use of gas and all sorts of other things.  It says, among other things, that “No land in the Town shall be used to … transfer (or) store natural gas; or … for natural gas and/or petroleum support activities” and “No permit issued by any local, state or federal agency, commission or board for a use which would violate the prohibitions of this section or of this Ordinance shall be deemed valid within the Town.”  This language would prevent any fuel oil dealer or any propane dealer from locating in the town, along with pipelines, CNG fueling stations or even a gasoline station or office for a company dealing in petroleum products.  Perhaps worst, is the notion that the Town of Dryden can declare a state or Federal permit as invalid. [link added--tvm]  Does the Town really think it can supersede the Public Service Commission’s Article 7 process relating to pipelines for example?  Well, maybe it should read this case, which says not.

Read the whole thing.

A new group, the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition, has a website containing Dryden-specific information as well as more general Marcellus Shale info, articles, and excerpts from relevant legal source documents. If you're interested in joining the group, there's an e-mail address, DrydenSEC@gmail.com, at which you can indicate that interest to the group organizers.

The town board was originally scheduled to vote following the public hearing on July 20th on the zoning ordinance amendment that would ban all gas-related activities, but has postponed its vote until August 2nd. If you're a Dryden resident, you may want to contact the board members before August 2nd:

Mary Ann Sumner, Dryden Town Supervisor: supervisor@dryden.ny.us

David Makar, Dryden Town Board member: dmakar@dryden.ny.us

Jason Leifer, Dryden Town Board member: jleifer@dryden.ny.us

Steve Stelick, Dryden Town Board Member: sstelick@dryden.ny.us

Joe Solomon, Dryden Town Board member:  jsolomon@dryden.ny.us

For a little different perspective, no one beats South of 5 and 20 for spot-on snark—check out South's post on this topic.

And Dryden farmers had their say, too, and quite eloquently, although I haven't been able to unearth any video of their remarks to the town board.  By and large, though, their take on this is reflected in this earlier post.

Let's hope the discourse going forward is a little more civil than it's been.  And stay tuned—we'll keep you posted.

Notes from a Blogger Holiday

My co-blogger and I took some time this week to poke around Allegany County.  This is the week of their fair, and we dropped in on the horse pull competition. We found that some farmers are pretty handy at moving seemingly intractable forces.  The competition purses weren't very large, so it clearly isn't just the money that motivates them.

Just sayin'.

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