Upstate New Yorkers turned out en masse Saturday to tell Governor Cuomo it’s time to cut out the crap and approve the Constitution Pipeline, NOW!
The support for the Constitution Pipeline and Williams I saw in my hometown of Afton, New York on Saturday was beyond belief. There was a rally and some 400 people packed the Afton River Club to sign letters and to speak in support of the project on behalf of themselves, their friends, their families and their neighbors. Williams should feel very confident is has ample support, not only from landowners, but also from several local elected officials and numerous labor union members. The officials, union members and other individuals who came out to speak up in favor of the Constitution Pipeline was so encouraging and sent a very loud message to Governor Cuomo, who’s playing a stupid bureaucratic game with this vital project.
Just take a look at this crowd in the main banquet room!
Newly elected Senator Fred Akshar, as well as our local Assemblyman Cliff Crouch, both spoke in support of the Constitution Pipeline and called on the Governor to stop prolonging the approval process and start putting our people to work. They know what’s happening here. There’s no reason for the delay beyond Governor Cuomo’s political agenda and his inability and/or unwillingness, to grasp the economic needs of Upstate New York.
This natural gas pipeline means so much for residents of New York and business owners who have staying in an economically depressed area through years of hardship waiting and hoping for things to get better. Amphenol, for example, has stayed in Sidney through two floods. Raymond Corporation has also stayed in Greene, trying to grow its business there. These two businesses provide the majority of the jobs for locals in both Delaware and Chenango Counties. They have been shown the benefits of natural gas and are beyond ready to plug into a natural gas pipeline to save on costs.
Yet, our Governor is virtually slapping them in the face for supporting the Upstate economy or is busy throwing them bones in hopes a few token efforts will suffice to keep them here while he dances with the fractivists. One minute he promises them gas and the next minute he holds it hostage. If this doesn’t show Cuomo’s true colors, I don’t know what does.
Saturday, as I watched each speaker discuss how desperately we as a community and state need the Constitution Pipeline to come through New York, it was difficult to hold back my own frustration with the Governor. I have already once been personally affected by seeing natural gas development denied to New York State. Now, I am working with another company that needs this natural gas pipeline to have a future Upstate and, once again, I’m feeling the pressure to make ends meet while my governor dallies and attempts to appease the unappeasable. My blood boils thinking Cuomo is once again letting, not only me, but thousands of other Upstaters down for the sake of his own personal political gain. How we ended up with such political corruption is beyond me.
The builders of Constitution Pipeline are ready, willing and able. New York State is ready but unwilling as our governor seems only able to accommodate the malcontents among us. I hope all of the folks against this are planning on jogging to keep warm this winter instead of turning on their electric, propane or natural gas heat but, then again, we all know how incredibly hypocritical those opposed to natural gas development truly are. They’ll keep on protesting as long as someone listens and neither facts nor logic will ever dissuade them from seeking attention. Nevertheless, I still have to hope for better from Governor Cuomo. Maybe, just maybe, he’s paying attention this time. Some 400 people turning out to support a pipeline he’s sat on for three years ought to tell him something.
Editor’s Note: I share Rach’s frustration with the delay. This pipeline is crucial to both Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers. As the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York noted in their press release on the rally:
With thousands of jobs on the line, supporters are becoming anxious to see the project move forward. At one point during the rally, an enthusiast began a chant: “We want the pipeline!” We want it now!”
In addition to serving markets in New England and New York City, Constitution Pipeline and Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC have announced plans to install four delivery taps along Constitution’s proposed route to facilitate local natural gas service to homes and businesses in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania. Currently, more than fifty percent of Southern Tier and Central New York residents rely on fuel oils to heat their homes; while a mere eight percent are able to utilize low cost, clean natural gas. And, converting to natural gas from fuel oils cuts greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30%.
What’s even more frustrating, if that’s possible, is the total media bias on this issue. When a handful of fractivists rallied to protest pipelines in Franklin, the Oneonta Daily Star covered it the way you’d expect if Martians had landed and taken over the courthouse, but 400 people show up to support a pipeline in Afton and not a single word appears. Search their website this morning for “Constitution Pipeline” and the top hit is Zephyr Teachout’s announcement she will run for Congress, which includes her statement of opposition to the project. This deliberate non-reporting of what should have been huge news is no accident. And, searching the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin “Press Connects” site yields this:
You can also read the Norwich Evening Sun and you’ll find nothing there either. Three newspapers and no mention of some 400 people showing up to support a pipeline but assemble a crowd of a half-dozen fractivists and it will be treated like a revolution. This is the biggest problem the natural gas industry and landowners face and it’s not unlike what we see with many other issues; the death of journalism at the hands of “journalists” trained to think they’re political advocates first and reporters second. They then wonder why no trusts them anymore and readership is falling off the cliff.
That, of course, is the reason for this blog. We are determined to get the word out. Our readership may be limited but we reach decision-makers and others who want to know the truth. It is, in this case, simply this: the Constitution Pipeline enjoys overwhelming support along its route. Businesses, landowners, union workers and others all know it’s one of the keys to rebuilding an Upstate New York forgotten and neglected for far too long.