Steuben County, New York, Landowner
President, Steuben County Land Owners Coalition
What’s wrong with New York State? Environmentalists, or rather fake environmentalists, have captured the state and at least one of its political parties, to the detriment of its citizens and its followers.
What the heck has happened in New York State? What’s wrong with our state? Here we sit on top of one or two of the richest shale plays in the world, and all we’re doing is watching all the other states (roughly thirty!) take advantage of their opportunities. No one but our governor would even pretend the explanation for New York’s plight is scientific, given what all those other states, all of whom presumably researched the matter for themselves, have done.
Also, history proves, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that hydraulic fracturing is safe, in the sense most people would define it; that is to say not harmful. It is much the same as driving a car is “safe,” although this does not mean it is totally risk free. It means the benefits outweigh the risks. It would be idiotic to refuse to take a job that would provide a much better living for your family only because you felt driving to work was not “safe.” In effect, this is exactly what fake environmentalists and cynical politicians are doing with natural gas drilling in New York.
Why is New York the only state that is not taking advantage or moving to take advantage of its shale play? Is New York the only place in the country where, for some special reason, it is unsafe to drill? Are we to believe all the other states that are drilling have no concern for the environment? The fake environmentalists, for whom environmentalism is a religion or trendy cause, would have you believe all those states are experiencing massive devastation. Yet, there is no evidence to support those charges from any state environmental agency, or the EPA!
These fake environmentalists live on half-truths or flagrant non-truths (some less politically correct would say lies ). The ultimate proof of this is what they have managed to do to make “fracking” the new ultimate curse word. This has been an extremely effective campaign – and all with no responsible scientific proof or objective historic evidence. In fact, hydraulic fracturing has never, repeat never, been verified as a cause for pollution of any water supply throughout these 50 states. Even the EPA, which has tried valiantly to prove this might be the case, has had to back off in its three attempts to associate fracturing with water pollution due to lack of evidence, tainted testing procedures and outright fraud.
The behavior of these fake environmentalists, the media, and the politicians on this subject has been nothing short of sickening. For those of us who are “recovering” environmentalists, their behavior has been criminal – they have stolen our best chance for a fairly rapid economic recovery here in the Southern Tier.
The motivation of the fake environmentalists you can, at least to some degree, understand. They intend to protect Mother Earth from the ultimate villain – MAN! These are the folks who believe Al Gore is a scientist and Yoko Ono is an artist! The cynical and mostly liberal politicians are a little harder to explain – but only a little. Their ultimate goal is, of course, to get reelected though they love portraying it as “public service.” Liberal pols in New York, as contrasted with other states, are convinced the votes and the money are with the fake environmentalists.
Ironically, liberals claim a tradition of represent the working man and woman, yet the actions of New York liberals, contrary to those in California and Illinois, for example, speak otherwise. Gas drilling would bring thousands of jobs, tax revenue to support entitlement programs, tax revenue for other tax burdens (schools, roads, services,etc.) cheaper energy for lowering heating costs, and lower energy costs to encourage the growth of industry and industrial jobs in our area – all of this well proven as close as Pennsylvania. Thousands of New Yorkers can literally see that prosperity from their front porches. But, our liberal politicians here in New York, who are supposed to represent the interests of those working New Yorkers are choosing instead to support the likes of the talentless Yoko Ono (pictured below doing one of her screaming performances), one of the 2,700 wealthiest people in the world!
Natural gas from the Marcellus Shale has the potential to lower heating costs in New York City significantly – a huge savings for every single person who has to heat something and deliver cleaner air! So why in the world are these liberal politicians more concerned about Yoko Ono than New York’s working stiffs?
The answer to that is that today’s New York Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of a few decades ago. They still pay lip service to the working class, but when they have to choose between jobs and Yoko Ono it’s all over! How sad is that? For the blue collar worker, how infuriating is that? It should be enough to create a whole new wave of what was once called “Reagan Democrats.” In fact, in view of all the damage these “environmentalists” and their liberal supporters are doing to our state, it should create a tidal wave!
The Manhattan Institute has released a report in May of this year stating the moratorium in New York has, or will, cost the Southern Tier counties as much as $8 billion (yes that’s a “b”) in four years. Those numbers actually seem conservative. With New York’s infrastructure (roads, railroads, pipelines) so much better than northern Pennsylvania’s it’s fairly safe to assume that had New York started drilling in 2008, when Pennsylvania did, we would have experienced at least as much economic activity as it has over the last five years. In fact, with ad valorem taxes and nothing like it in Pennsylvania, our counties, towns, and school districts would have benefited much more!
Some state propaganda agency is currently running commercials on TV saying how great the business climate is in New York. “We’re adding tens of thousands of jobs and new businesses.” “The yogurt industry is going to pull the Southern Tier out of it’s poor economic state” – that last one from our Governor! Here in Steuben County our unemployment rate is “down” to 12% – and still climbing! Is there really anybody out there who believes this kind of hogwash (no insult intended to hogs) from our state leaders? A recent national poll placed New York last (that’s 50th) as a location for business. Is it possible businessmen from around the country see something our Governor is not seeing?
It’s hard to say how much these “environmentalists” and New York’s special brand of liberal politicians have really cost us. Besides all of the lost revenue, we have to consider the long range harm they have done. There is a line of thinking that the gas companies now have very little interest in New York State. The political atmosphere here is worse than in any other state–even worse then California! This represents an absolutely amazing situation. In many ways New York is the worst state in the Union and yet fake environmentalists are excited about this! They wear it on their sleeves like a badge of honor! They are absolutely giddy about being the cause of so much misery for so many people!
Is there any hope for improvement in the situation here in New York – especially here in the Southern Tier? Sadly, we are probably in a hopeless political reality. The five percent or so of the state’s land mass that includes New York City, will always outvote, and, therefore, control, the 95% or so of the rest of the state. Secession is almost certainly out of the question, and that would be the only realistic way for upstate residents to get out from under the domination of New York’s urban liberals. In a very real political sense they are from Mars and we are from Venus.
On a state – wide level there could be some hope the Democratic Party could move far enough left that they lose more and more of their “working stiff” base. The Democratic Party has always been perceived as the party of labor – and it still fundamentally is today. Today, however, many of those liberals will side with the ” environmentalists” over labor every time. The Keystone Pipeline on the national level, and gas drilling in New York state, are prefect examples of this. As more and more evidence accumulates on the benefits of gas drilling in other states, more and more blue collar Democrats true to the foundations of their party are going to convert to the other side.
It is, in fact, theoretically possible the Democratic Party could move back towards the center – much as it did under the DLC and Bill Clinton. However, there is really no sign of that happening now – especially here in New York. Cuomo now stands totally alone among Democratic leaders nationally in his opposition to hydraulic fracturing. We can only conclude that Governor Cuomo prefers to sacrifice a huge section of his state for the support of Yoko Ono!
The most effective area where the residents of the Southern Tier, and upstate in general, can have some effect on their destiny is in local elections. In the county and town level elections we must, repeat must, learn to vote in our own interests. These are the elections that traditionally get the smallest turn-outs. This must change! These low turn-out rates enable the fake environmentalists to win elections they really should not be winning and, with as few as three votes on a town board, legally abscond with away all your mineral rights, unless our Court of Appeals finally demonstrates some common sense and backbone. If we fight back locally, we at least have some ability to control our destiny if New York ever joins other states, including those other “blue states” now leaving it behind.
What’s wrong with New York State? Fake environmentalists maybe?