Media Reporting of Crestwood Victory Reveals Deep Bias

Image 2Frank Chernega
Broome County, New York, Landowner


Binghamton Press reporting of a major Crestwood victory in September regarding its proposed Seneca Lake LPG storage facility speaks volumes on press bias.

Local media here in Broome County has helped drive our region into poverty with biased articles by the likes of Tom Wilber in particular, who incessantly writes about natural gas issues and glowingly features “activists” who are against anything having to do with fossil fuels. Meanwhile, he totally ignores the cost in human suffering by landowners and others whose lives would be far off better financially had we been given the chance to extract our Marcellus Shale natural gas.


One of Wilber’s more recent hit pieces appeared in the Binghamton Press. Entitled “Challenge to Seneca LPG storage struck down” it was typical of all Wilber articles in that it extolled the positions of antis and largely dismissed those of project proponents. Those proponents achieved a clean sweep of the issues with what was a carefully articulated decision. James T. McClymonds, the Chief Administrative Law Judge, who considered the challenge to the requested permit by Gas Free Seneca, Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association and Seneca Lake Communities found the following, among other things:

In conclusion, petitioners fail to raise any adjudicable issues regarding cavern integrity. At most, petitioners merely raise uncertainties without any factual, scientific or technical bases. Moreover, the draft permit addresses many of the issues raised by petitioners, requires regular evaluation and monitoring of cavern and well integrity, and imposes measures to immediately respond to any cavern or well integrity problems in the event they do arise. Accordingly, no adjudicable issues regarding cavern integrity are presented for hearing…

In sum, petitioners have not raised adjudicable issues concerning the project’s potential impacts on water quality…

In sum, petitioners have failed to raise any adjudicable issues concerning the sufficiency of the analysis in the DSEIS and supplemental submissions on the issue of the impacts of the project on public safety.

That’s all pretty clear to me but, if you relied upon Tom Wilber’s reporting, all you learned was this about the decision:

After two and a half years, Chief Administrative Law Judge James McClymonds, of the Department of Environmental Conservation, ruled this month that officials have seen all the evidence and hearings are not required. Evidence already presented by opponents is included as comments on the project’s draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The ruling is subject to appeal to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, according to Sean Mahar, a spokesman for the DEC. “The commissioner has the ability to adopt, modify or reject the ALJ’s ruling in whole or in part,” Mahar said.

The decision for Crestwood storing LPG in those caverns, of course, can and very possibly may be overturned by Basil Seggos, the radical environmental shill for the Riverkeeper and the rest of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) cabal. Cuomo has a penchant for hiring DEC Commissioners from “environmental” groups rather than from industry or academia. Former DEC Commissioner, Joe Martens, of course, was president of the Open Space Institute (OSI) which is owned and operated by the Rockefeller mafia who love buying up cheap land upstate with the assistance of the Governor.

Seggos’s ability to play politics with this decision, however, would be restricted if there was some honest reporting of the facts. Sadly, that’s not we got from Tom Wilber or the Binghamton Press, both of whom are wedded to a partnership with the extremist anti-growth, anti-gas, anti-everything crowd that has virtually killed the Southern Tier.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

13 thoughts on “Media Reporting of Crestwood Victory Reveals Deep Bias

  1. I wonder if those buying the cheap upstate land will one day decide that they can make a lot of money by allowing the production of natural gas from their land. Then they can claim that they are helping to reduce air pollution by providing a clean energy source!

    • It may not be much in the way of assistance to the current situation, but land – surface acreage – can be segregated from extraction rights to the underlying minerals when people decide to sell.
      That is, present owners may retain ownership of subsurface minerals as long as this is clearly stipulated in the transfer filings.

      • True and I do hope the sellers elect to keep the mineral rights; but I expect they will be pressured to give those up by the buyers.

  2. Excellent article Frank I hope Jim Willis picks it up and puts it in MDN… maybe Tom can forward it to NYC papers, this comparison is spot on.

  3. the NY news media has heavily influenced the debate over fossil fuels in NYS by reporting what they want the general population to hear, or not hear. If the NY news media had been fair and honest, drillers would be drilling wells in NY right now. It is a shame what is happening to the southern tier

  4. Tom Wilber and a LOT of reporters have a very obvious bias. That is true. Beyond the bias though there are reporters including Tom who are not just biased but also producing inferior work with major factual errors and who are also REFUSING TO MAKE corrections or retractions when asked to. That is basically journalistic malpractice. It is one thing to make an error because of bias or bad sources. It is another thing entirely when your error has been brought to your attention to REFUSE to admit the error and make a correction. And I have had that happen not just with Tom Wilber who I contacted directly and heard back from. There is a problem of EPIC proportions with how journalists are covering fracking, pipelines, FERC and more. Even though my efforts have fallen on deaf ears I encourage people to contact reporters and editors and news orgs directly with your concerns.

  5. I might be way behind the curve on this but why has there not been a class action suit filed by mineral owners who cannot utilize their assets. Isn’t a ban simply a “taking”? If any state wants to ban extraction, they should have to pay owners for the potential revenue lost. Maybe someone can clear this up for me. Thanks.

    • A taking arguably requires proof of more or less complete loss of use of property and takes years and millions to pursue.

    • You asked “why is there no lawsuit?” the joint landowners coalition of NY is disorganized, gutless and out of money. NY landowners can not find a single attorney in NY who wants to pursue a takings case due to the fact that hydrofracing can still be done with low volumes of water which is obviously ineffective at this point. There is one group trying to get a permit to frack with liquid propane, but the NY DEC keeps stalling them. NY seems to want to make it as difficult to drill as possible, but let enough of a window to allow it so they can’t get sued for an outright ban.
      The REAL question in my opinion is ; Why haven’t the NY landowners started a revolt? everyone past 8 grade should remember the reasons for the Boston tea party and the American revolution. The majority of NY landowners don’t know how much value they have lost due in part to media bias. PA landowners reap the benefits while NYers watch from the other side of the border like it was East Berlin Germany

      • Thank you. Well explained. Shocking that they can’t find a lawyer willing to take that case and I think you’re right on that the landowners should revolt. Time for torches and pitchforks!

  6. It’s very evident when FOIL request/responses show proof positive that the media and the public municipalities that have come out in opposition of this project failed to even consider or give equal time to listen or entertain the defense side of why this project should proceed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *