What Does Prosperity Look Like? Look at Bradford County.

Bradford County - Cherie MessoreCherie Messore
Public Relations Consultant

The Empire Energy Forum’s video of Bradford County Commissioner gets some more love from one of our favorite guest bloggers, Cherie Messore.

What does economic prosperity look like? If you’re Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko, it looks like sprawling farmland and rolling green hills. It’s also a revitalized region where 20-somethings stay (or return) to launch their careers. This place has plenty of good drinking water, great roads, plenty of J-O-B-S, and no more county debt. And there are plenty of producing natural gas wells.

The Bradford County Pickup Tour Video Revisited

McLinko (no stranger to this blog and other pro-development conversations), in this new video released by the Empire Energy Forum, takes viewers on a “pick up truck” tour of his beloved homeland, with plenty of good news to share along the way.

Natural gas development, he says, has “been a blessing to our community.”  Bradford County is the most drilled state in Pennsylvania (2,500 permits have been issued, with 1,900 wells already drilled): in other words, if anything devastating were to have happened, it would have happened there. But guess what? The community is environmentally, physically, and socially safe…and thriving.

He says the good news and truth about energy development is that there is nothing to hide.

And there is plenty of good news to share. The influx of cash into the county means a $17 million first responder training center will be constructed. Projects like this protect the entire community, including more than 130 miles of interstate pipelines, the 1,000 miles of gathering lines, and 15 gas compressors in the county, all which generate tax dollars. In the past few years, the natural gas industry invested almost $4 million into road improvements. Some folks say that gas companies bring crime and social injustice to town along with big rigs and trucks. McLinko says there’s nothing unusual going on.

While there are always a few bumps in the road when embracing growth and change, they have been minor (and are swiftly and successfully mitigated) compared to the conspicuous, transformative advantages. What can’t be disputed is the $100 million put into the assessed value of thecounty, and $1.5 billion put into the general fund of Pennsylvania, thanks to natural gas development.

One Commissioner’s Eye-View on Bradford County’s Vitality

This video is a Doug’s-eye-view of vitality in Bradford County. During the ride, we hear Doug’s good words about the multiple revenue generating opportunities that came to the county because of natural gas development. “People don’t think about the benefits,” he says. But he sees them, both in the “coffers of a cash-strapped state government” from an industry that pays plentiful taxes and landowners who are collecting royalties from their mineral-rich land.

Bradford County View

Doug McLinko points out drilling sites in Bradford County

There are new roofs on homes and barns, and plenty of locals who are shopping for supplies in area stores (both big boxes and mom-and-pop). There are new indirect businesses popping up, too, and while some small businesses have a short life, (50-percent of small businesses last at least five years, according to a 2013 article in Forbes), many of them are doing well. Says McLinko, “People who are innovative and creative can find or develop a business here.”

What’s missing? Community degradation, scars on the land, harm to the water, and the sense of despair that plagues communities with economic uncertainty and a bleak future.

McLinko is full of optimism for his beloved home county and our country’s future, too. He says, “The good-ol American system will produce alternative energies for the future, and we need to have a full scale plan in place. It starts with American natural gas to develop and use responsibly.”

In other words, New York, look across the border: the solutions to our immediate financial problems are literally underfoot.

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12 thoughts on “What Does Prosperity Look Like? Look at Bradford County.

  1. Doug Mclinko only touts the good stuff and denies any other issue that has occurred .He is a landowner and has a lease .Naturally he support NG drilling .Just like all the others in PA that have conflicts of interest in public office .

  2. As a resident of Bradford County, I agree things here have never been better. Our worst blight today comes not from all of our natural gas wells, but instead from our many ugly windmills.

    There has been both good and bad regarding natural gas here. It is great for us that, in New York, drilling is shut down. This has helped reduce the “gas glut” and is greatly appreciated. I acknowledge the shut down has been tough on New York landowners and grossly unfair to them. But it has been marvelous for Bradford County and for other PA natural gas producing counties.

    Bad for us has been refusal by some gas companies to pay royalties as we anticipated they would be paid. Many landowners here in Bradford County have been hurt by this and our political leaders, including Mr. McLinko, are working hard to put things right. The cheating by some gas companies really has hurt a large number of Bradford County landowners.

  3. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/donovan-richards-impossible-ignore-fractures-fracking-article-1.1970623

    It’s interesting how different that video is from what is written in the article above. Is their no communication between some of the people on the ground in Pennsylvania in support of natural gas and politicians in NY (city or state)? Do you need that more because perhaps there is a politicians listed in that article that needs to know how you feel?

  4. As I wrote earlier, I live in Bradford County. My home here is the only one I own. I live here year ’round. I’m surrounded by gas wells. They are literally everywhere, in every direction. My own land, a mile down of course, has been fracked.

    We’ve always had great water here. It’s still wonderful. None of my neighbors has any problems with water. When they were building the pads and drilling the wells the truck traffic was crazy. It takes a LOT of stone to build a pad. But once constructed the drilling pads just sit there, very low to the ground. They are stone. They do not cause trouble.

    And once the wells are drilled all the activity subsides markedly. All you can see are a number of standpipes extending up through the pads. They also are low to the ground. From even a short distance away you cannot see or hear anything.

    It’s a good feeling to know we are producing AMERICAN energy to help heat the homes of other AMERICANS. I realize people opposed to drilling want a weaker America. Unrelated to drilling, I want a strong and prosperous America. It’s worth whatever sacrifices we had to make in order to contribute to that outcome.

    Finally this past summer, adjacent to one drilling pad (less than a mile) north of my home, a pair of bald eagles built their nest and raised their family. I have seen photos of the young. This was so symbolic. American power adjacent to our national symbol, all in a natural setting and existing together in peace. I can only imagine how this would disturb and worry the environmental nut jobs. They would want to build one of their ugly 400 foot tall wind turbines as nearby as possible to that nest, in an effort as quickly as possible to kill those bald eagles dead!!

  5. Karen:

    I think much of the issue is that the politicians in NYC do not really care to learn the facts. Its “cool” and “popular” to be anti-fracking in NYC even though they would be taking ZERO risk in this whole proposal and stand to reap all the benefits. The facts don’t matter anymore. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

    It’s very sad that they like to sit in NYC and tell everyone in the Southern Tier how to live their lives and what is good for them. Everyone in the Southern Tier just wants to be left alone to make their own decisions.

  6. It,s so sad so many of us in NY are being held hostage to Wall street greed. At least we can sit back and be entertained as the Sowdies kick the crap out of those greedy investors in NYC,s money changing temple. I just hope the fed. lets them get called on all that leveraged stock! Then and only then can we all enjoy the benefit of all this new found God given bounty that lies beneath our feet! It,s so comical to watch Cuomo and his minions protect all those bad energy investments by crippling the rest of this state. I,ve said before and I,ll say it again , greed has no shame! History will not look kindly on this Governor. Lets all face the facts of the damage of super pack campaign financing that is yet to come our way. This guy wants to be president! Then what? Pipes? Who needs pipes? We need PERMITS before we need pipes! All NY or none! Tom S. I,m glad We,re all in this with you and yours on our side ,thanks and keep on fighting the good fight.

  7. So far, Cuomo and his cronies are enjoying that cheap “fracked natural gas”from Pennsylvania that they heat their hi-rise condos with. What a bunch of phonies!

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