Andrew Cuomo’s Sellout of the Southern Tier

fracking decision - Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner Shale Gas Activist at NYRAD-R

Andrew Cuomo decision on fracking was nothing less than a sellout of New York’s Southern Tier to the highest political bidder and NRDC types had the dough.

The word traveled across the state of New York like a Kansas prairie fire as Cuomo banned fracking and called upon the unqualified Dr. Zucker and the MountainCreeper’s own Joe Martens, who Cuomo controlled like a 14 year old kid uses a joystick on his Sony PlayStation 3 while Martens’ old bosses in the NRDC gang did the same with the Governor.

Cuomo addresses the camera’s, “this is not my decision this is the decision of my experts and I just want to say it before I hear it, I had nothing to do with the decision.”

I knew it was over then, I started calling people even before Cuomo was done flapping his jaws. “They’re going to ban drilling in New York.” The people I called didn’t want to believe it and said I must be wrong, but soon enough they would know.


First, Howard Zucker sang a chorus of “what if, maybe, possibly, and might,” and then talked his kids. It seemed to be a heartfelt speech, but it lacked any of what Cuomo promised, that being science.

Southern Tier Zucker

Zucker follows Cuomo script

Then, it was Joe Martens turn. And, turn he did. He turned a full 180 degrees, in fact, and one can only imagine the reaction inside his agency. Surely, his actions have caused DEC employees to lose any respect for him. Cuomo carved the DEC up like a fat lady cuts through cake. Just two years ago, Martens stated that drilling was safe or at least could be done safely.

Martens agreed with Zucker and the look in Martens’ eyes told me he knew he had just sold his soul to Cuomo for a paycheck, but, of course, he did that long ago when he signed up with the NRDC gang who played him like a pawn and used the governor as a rook. Well, crook..rook, what’s the difference? Martens and Cuomo were both played by the same wealthy special interests.

It didn’t take long for the anti’s, many of who were obviously totally surprised by the decision to start celebrating, but what happened on the pro side was discussion and anger.

People started questioning Shaw’s retirement. Did he retire or was his dignity unapproachable by the Cuomo administration. I think the latter, but we will never know because Dr. Shaw apparently had to sign what the anti’s like to call a “non-disclosure agreement”. Yes, it seems those agreements are signed at a very high rate in government.

Landowners like me and our supporters were, predictably, angry and so we went to work.

We contacted Dr. Theodore Them, who has studied hydraulic fracturing in nine states and most of the Marcellus Shale region. Dr. Them, in fact, is only one of 500 doctors in the states with the credentials to do a health study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing and his credentials, compared to Dr. Zucker’s, leave no doubt as to who the more qualified expert is. We asked Dr. Them to do a radio interview with us that Jim Willis at Marcellus Drilling News covered here. Dr. Them stated “Zucker had it wrong  and there was no good science in his report.”

We also simultaneously made plans for a protest rally where citizens of the Southern Tier could express their anger and frustration with Cuomo’s sellout of the Southern Tier.

We have all seen the anti’s on TV news more times then we needed to. Their news conference’s usually have the same dozen or so fractivists, three of whom are hustlers  from Pennsylvania. Isaac Silberman-Gorn, a paid professional activist, is also typically involved. Then there used to be the presence of the combative former Mayor of Binghamton, Matt Ryan, who loved the city so much he couldn’t wait to leave it.

Yes, we have seen many fractivist protests, but none that ever pulled together more then 100 people here in what they have dubbed the frack zone. Even when our pro-gas President came to town, they claimed onlookers as their own; it was part of their strategy. Some of you will also remember the Big Splash event in the park where more people showed up because of the music, pot and beer than anything else. Even the, not counting the five bands, there were only about 200 who came to party and beat their bongo’s.

Yet, they keep repeating how they are the majority, that they have the numbers while their pet fractivist candidates (remember Tarik?) got defeated, one by one, and then Matt Ryan was replaced by a pro-gas Mayor and no one even appealed the court decision overthrowing their fracking ban. It was all BS and we proved it Monday night in Binghamton when 800 of our people showed up to tell Andrew Cuomo he sold out the Southern Tier.

The count of local landowners, farmers and other supporters of natural gas harvesting was the largest protest since Harpur College (now Binghamton University) was the site of Vietnam war protests back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Inside the standing-room-only conference hall, only 200 chairs were set up. A count was taken by the JLCNY (sponsor of the rally) and there were 700 people present with the hallway outside packed with at least 100 more people.

That’s 800 people, folks, larger then any legitimate protest the antis ever saw or held and it was in favor of gas drilling. Unlike their State of the State protest in Albany where paid organizers, headline seeking entertainers and students from Albany University who were given credits to show up, composed the bulk of the audience, this was an authentic grass-roots protest. No one was bussed in on vehicles paid for by special interests and no passed out beetle juice, pot or beer to get anyone to attend. There was no entertainment to lure young people. It was pure protest and as real as it could be, which leads me to my own protest message to the governor.

Hey, Cuomo… you sold out your own soul to the NRDC gang and then you sold us out. You used your two hacks to do the dirty work you ordered. No one is fooled that the decision wasn’t ordered by you or that it wast 100% political and zero science. You sold out the Southern Tier because we just don’t matter to you. You wouldn’t even visit a gas site to learn anything and neither did either of your two hacks.

You are the man who said if towns don’t want it, then could ban it. But, then on December 18, 2014 you sat back in your chair with a smirk on your face and stated “Hey, I am not a scientist, I am not a doctor or geologist, I am only a lawyer and a governor. That’s why I have the state’s experts here.” It was a pitiful lie and some of the poorest acting ever, revealing how little you think of our Southern Tier intelligence. You now say the science demands we kill it (“at this time”) but, back then, you said a town board composed of ordinary citizens could override the science and ban it. Here in the Southern Tier, it’s head you win and tails we lose, I guess. The science only matters if you need to override our will and then you’ll make it up as needed.

Southern Tier Cuomo

Will Andrew Cuomo will have more reason to be testy?

Making it up along the way, come to think it, is the M.O, of your administration, Governor Cuomo. Your cynical and reactionary decision to sellout the Southern Tier in an attempt to appease the NRDC gang and other similar special interests and burnish your leftist credentials for a Presidential run was short-sighted and foolish. Some 800 people just proved it and you’ll never get out of the gate in your Presidential run, not in 2016 or 2020. You’re done.

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7 thoughts on “Andrew Cuomo’s Sellout of the Southern Tier

  1. Hopefully you have all the names and email addresses on a database to start further action. !!! If you look to my post on the first report of your rally you will find a suggestion to hopefully further your cause. When you have hundreds of citizens motivated enough to attend a rally it is a golden opportunity to organize further growth . The enemy you face is generally a small group of malcontent hypocrites. Problem with that group is they are indeed dangerous politically . Your group has to make yourself even more dangerous to Cuomo’s state legislation party or really appear to be. I am sure with the intelligent people in your group you can find the relatively cheap but effective ways to grow this movement .

  2. Some light verse to commemorate this august occassion:

    Andy to Charlie Upstate: “I’ll hold the ball for you.”
    Upstate to Andy, “I’m not sure that I trust you.”
    Andy to Upstate: “Why would I lie?”
    Upstate to Andy: “All right, I’ll try.”
    Andy to Upstate: “Oops, I pulled it away from you.

  3. If the old deal is taken off the table our numbers would double . All NY or None. All upstate deserves property rights, not just a few of us! We need them as much if not more than they need us ! The same goes for those to our southeast . We,re all in this together NY.

  4. As an attendee to the rally Monday night, I echo Paul Taylor’s comment. I was surprised there didn’t seem to be anywhere to sign in – to provide names and maybe an email address. That seems the best first way to develop the network needed to go forward. Maybe the network is already there? We did all hear about it one way or another. But I know of a great many more folks who also feel we have been shafted but they were not there.

  5. Pingback: Message to Andrew Cuomo: You Ain’t No Brother to the Southern Tier | ShaleNOW

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