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August 27, 2013

Sustainability crowd doesn't get economics

By Chuck Pinkey
The Daily Star

---- — A few weeks back in The Daily Star, a guest commentator wrote an article titled “Does Our Local Economy Have a Future?” He noted our 16 percent poverty rate, 8 percent unemployment, inability to lure outside manufacturing, maxed-out tourism, and the exodus of our young. He forgot to mention the slow, agonizing death of the dairy farmers in our area, but that has been going on for a generation, and all they have ever gotten is lip service.

He was making a lot of sense, which is unusual for a guest commentator in The Daily Star, so I skipped to the end to see who was writing this article, and as Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise! Surprise! Adrian Kuzminski!”

If this isn’t like A-Rod complaining about illegal drugs in Major League Baseball, I’ll eat sushi! Hasn’t Adrian and his Sustainable Otsego been in the forefront of trying to stop every new business endeavor in Otsego County?

As I read on, I got to his solutions to our economic problems. Let’s grow grapes. Maybe hops, too. Make honey and syrup! As in the Finger Lakes region, we may prosper with “boutique farms, wineries, food tourism and related enterprises.”

He advocates “regional products for which France and other European countries are famous. Why not an Otsego cheese or mead or sausage or a local line of furniture or clothing?” Why not? Does Walmart and JCPenney ring a bell?

With regard to energy in our area, he states, “Where viable and efficient, solar (Maybe President Obama can arrange another loan?), hydro (Where?), wind (You mean Industrial Wind Turbines! I thought Sustainable Otsego was opposed to these.), and perhaps biofuels (There’s a winner).”

Of course, gas exploration, which may be the only industry that will bring prosperity to upstate New York, is out of the question. Not one for letting the facts get in the way, Mr. Kuzmininski states, “…natural gas doesn’t count as a resource for us. Its harmful environmental, economic, and social side effects, ignored by the industry and its supporters, cancel out any short term profits fracking might bring.”

Everyone has a right to his or her opinion and if they can have it published, God bless them, but I find it hilarious that people with so little business savvy are so often lent such credence when it comes to economic matters. Be thankful these same people aren’t called upon to consult with your surgeon during your next operation.

Look folks, if I’ve told this story before, I’m sorry, but it’s worth telling again. An equipment dealer from Meshoppin, Pa., came into my office and laid six checks on my desk. They totaled $82,000. “What are these for?” I asked “Those are my royalty checks,” he answered.

“I didn’t think they were drilling on you,” I said. He stated, “They’re not. They’re drilling underneath me.” I asked, “How much land do you have?” “280 acres,” he answered. “Is that $82,000 per year?” I questioned. “Hell no! That’s per month. My neighbor has 19 acres and she gets $14,000 per month,” he exclaimed. Folks, we’re missing the boat and for absolutely no good reason!

If you want to know the truth about gas exploration and fracking, drive down to Pennsylvania and talk to farmers, home owners, and business people. Just look around at the new roads and new homes. See the hustle and bustle. Visit the well heads. Go anywhere you want. Go especially to Dimock. 

I’ve been pro-gas and pro-fracking for years. We’ve got nothing to hide. I’m encouraging you to go and see for yourself. No guided tour! See for yourself! Think. Is the other side telling you that?

On Tuesday, Sept. 17 at River Valley New Holland, 3910 State Highway 7, Otego, at 6 p.m., we will be showing the documentary “Fracknation.” It will open your eyes to the chicanery in the anti-gas movement. All are welcome, and refreshments will be served. Questions: 607-432-8180 or 607-435-3358. 

On an unrelated topic, but nevertheless of great interest to Adrian and his Sustainable Otsego friends, is news from the UK’s weather-watching Met Office, citing evidence that global warming has decelerated or even stopped over the last 15 years.

I am relieved, and I’m sure, Adrian, that you will agree that we can now ease off on the costly tier IV emissions for trucks and tractors, leave the auto companies alone, go with the Keystone Pipeline, and quit killing the coal industry. Unless of course, what the skeptics of the environmental movement have said is true; that it was never about the environment at all. It’s always been about control, anti-capitalism, anti-business and wealth redistribution.

What a bunch of boobs, right? Come on Adrian, help us celebrate the end of global warming! We’re waiting to hear from you. 

CHUCK PINKEY is a retired area businessman. He can be reached at The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board, but the author thinks they ought to.