Landowners Call Cuomo’s Drilling Ban an Unconscionable Assault on Upstate New York

Dan Fitzsimmons, President of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York said:  “Today’s Final SGEIS represents one more opportunity denied in Andrew Cuomo’s unconscionable assault on Upstate New York.”

“No Governor in our history has done more damage to Upstate New York than Andrew Cuomo.  During his term in office, Governor Cuomo has presided over the largest out-migration of any state in the nation.  New York has lost 350,000 people in the past three years, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy.  And Southern Tier residents who can see Pennsylvania’s prosperity from their front porches are calling for their towns to secede from New York.”

“Governor Cuomo has once again contributed to the decline of our Upstate cities. Rochester is now the fifth poorest city in the country with 31 percent of the population living in poverty.  The poverty rates for Buffalo and Syracuse are 30.7% and 34.6%. And in the heart of the Marcellus shale region, more than 33.3 percent of Binghamton residents are at or below the federal poverty level. Today’s news is devastating to thousands who had hoped for a chance to pull themselves up from economic despair.”

“The State that built the Erie Canal has lost its “can do attitude” and succumbed to the extremists.  It has turned its back on the economic opportunities that have reinvigorated the American economy. Instead, New York’s tax and spend Governor has chosen to pursue gimmicky programs like StartUp NY, creating 76 jobs at a cost to taxpayers of $53 million.”

“Since December 17, 2014, the DEC has been busy changing the conclusion of the SGEIS in order to fit Governor Cuomo’s last minute political strategy. U.S. Congressman Richard Hanna said in January:  ‘The Governor’s decision on natural gas production seems to be driven more by politics than sound science.’ Even former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg – a major ally of environmental groups – called Governor Cuomo’s decision a misguided policy that ‘doesn’t make any sense at all’.”

Bob Williams, JLCNY director and member of New York State’s High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel said:  “No Governor has demonstrated his lack of knowledge on energy more than Andrew Cuomo. He has never visited an oil or gas well. In 2013, he said he feared that children could fall into a well casing, a comment demonstrating his ignorance about the drilling process.  U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell was referring to Andrew Cuomo when she said in January:  ‘I think that localized efforts or statewide efforts in many cases don’t understand the science behind it’.  She also said bans in states like New York are ‘the wrong way to go’.  In March Secretary Jewel released the Interior Department’s final rules that will support safe and responsible hydraulic fracturing on public and American Indian lands.  Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Janice Schneider said:  ‘This rule will protect public health and the environment during and after hydraulic fracturing operations at a modest cost while both respecting the work previously done by the industry, the states and the tribes and promoting the adoption of more protective standards across the country’. “

Bob Williams also said: “Even EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in April that officials know fracking can be done safely. She said: ‘The good news about drinking water is that we really do know how to construct a well. These are not out-of-the-loop new technologies we’re seeking to identify. This is standard engineering practice’.  The process is safe for EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and even President Obama, but Andrew Cuomo and his administration still can’t figure it out.”

Dan Fitzsimmons: “Andrew Cuomo said his decision on hydraulic fracturing would be guided by science and facts. But, no matter what side of this debate you are on, everyone knows Cuomo’s decision was solely based on his political future.  We hope that in time, other state and federal experts will convince him that the Marcellus Shale is a blessing that cannot be denied to New York and its citizens.”

About The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York

The mission of The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) is to foster, promote, advance and protect the common interest of the people as it pertains to natural gas development though education and best environmental practices. JLCNY gathers and provides factual, objective information about safe and responsible natural gas development to landowners and community members. ###

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