ithaca college forum gave unbalanced view.....

ithaca college forum gave unbalanced view.....

Postby chasgas » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:12 am ... f-drilling

On behalf of the Steuben County Land Owners Coalition, we thank Ithaca College, the participants and organizers at the Nov. 3 forum on drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.

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The forum had two pro-drilling and five anti-drilling participants. The ratio of facts vs. theories and half-truths was about the same.

Jannette M. Barth of economic research and consulting firm J.M. Barth & Associates stated that Marcellus Shale fracturing will have a negative effect on the local economy. She should look at this fact: In 2010, a total of 140 banks failed in 26 states. Three of these banks were in New York state. Pennsylvania had no bank failures and is currently building new banks to take care of the increased economic activity caused by drilling.

State Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, please listen to T. Boone Pickens. He knows more about the gas industry than all of the anti-drillers in the New York legislative branch. He said the following: "America will go down as the dumbest country in history if we don't leverage our huge natural gas resources to reduce our foreign oil imports. With the current (Obama) administration, we might as well start printing those history books now."

Cornell University professor Bob Howarth's presentation was very misleading. He claimed that burning coal to generate electricity is cleaner than natural gas generators. Natural gas produces 60 percent less carbon dioxide than coal and does not produce fly ash. Fly ash contains mercury, lead, arsenic, chromium and other dangerous toxins that land in our lakes and rivers, not just once but constantly. He also failed to mention the human cost of mining coal. It is the No. 1 most dangerous job in the country and causes black lung disease.

Attorney Helen Slottje was concerned about landowners being forced to sign bad lease agreements. It was pointed out by our spokesman, Lorin Cooper, that no one is forced to sign a lease. Cooper advised that if someone has a lease, he should take it to a lawyer before signing it and/or join a land coalition. There is a landowners' coalition in every county in the Southern Tier. Slottje should be more concerned about landowners who are losing their land because they cannot pay their property and school taxes, which are increasing every year due to the land speculation.

John Holko is an owner of a gas drilling company and is working in Pennsylvania near the Ohio border. He gave an optimistic assessment of what he observed concerning drilling and fracking.

Tony Ingraffea was very knowledgeable concerning fracking, but like many people in the academic community, he is looking for perfection. Just like any other industry, drillers will learn from their mistakes and will improve the procedures. Ingraffea knows that the only way to make fracking for natural gas 100 percent safe is not in the classroom, but by actually drilling with geologists, engineers and the Department of Environmental Conservation on site and proving theories that were laid out in the classroom. Ingraffea knows what he would tell Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo if given the choice of lifting the moratorium on the Marcellus Shale fracking or letting New York go bankrupt.

That is what the debate is really coming down to. Now is the time to start. We cannot afford to wait any longer.

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