Fox 40 WICZ
“If gas drilling is not safe in Syracuse or in the New York City Watershed, it is not safe anywhere in this state,” said Sue Rapp of Vestal Residents for Safe Energy
Anti-fracking protesters turned up the volume in Downtown Binghamton today. Their target – Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The key is keeping pressure on Governor Cuomo from throughout this state. From my point of view what that means here in the Southern Tier is making visible resistance from as many communities as possible,” said Isaac Silberman-Gorn of Citizen Action.
Last week the New York Times reported the Cuomo Administration is considering a plan to allow fracking in the Southern Tier in those communities that express support for the process.
“You have a very vocal minority of landowners who stands to gain. And then you have the rest of the people who are going to be negatively affected or neutrally affected,” said Silberman-Gorn.
But not so says Broome County Clerk Richard Blythe. He says in the last two weeks Emkey Resources and Chesapeake Energy have filed $30 million in mortgages with his office.
The County’s one-percent cut comes to $300,000. He also says a gas pipeline and compressor station have helped to add $40 million in assessed value to the Town of Windsor.
“That kind of assessment is offsetting a lot of flood assessment. Quite frankly government is here to serve the people. There’s lots of bread-and-butter things: streets, roads, bridges, water and sewer that have to be supported somehow. And that’s one of the ways,” said Blythe.
Many of the protesters today called for fracking to be put to a vote in each municipality. One pro-fracker at the rally disagreed.
“There’s been so much misinformation put out there that right now, today, they would not have a referendum or vote on natural gas drilling because of the fear-mongering that’s taken place,” said landowner Vic Furman.
If Governor Cuomo is close to a fracking decision, you can be sure he’ll draw plenty of attention from both sides of the debate.