The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Guest Column

October 19, 2013

Sustainable Otsego is part of the problem

(Continued)

Sustainable Otsego foresees a “viable and sustainable future” by somehow magically creating light industry, organic farms and niche farming, bed-and-breakfasts and alternative energy. Nothing wrong with any of these endeavors but where’s the data that shows this preferred “wish list” economic segment will be drawn to our county, and if drawn, will have the heft to pull us out of our hard times?

In point of fact, this model has been on the books for almost a decade since the Otsego County Economic Development Planning Initiative was inaugurated in 2005. Read it and see how many of the specific objectives/visions have been realized. None. There have been a few individual success stories (they make headlines in the papers) but nothing substantive to halt the downward spiral. You can have studies, forums, grants, subsidies and member items but unless conditions align for economic growth, you’re blowing smoke.

People in business know New York’s problems. They are high taxes, high energy costs and over-regulation. Lower these, and entrepreneurs will take care of themselves.

Sustainable Otsego is on the wrong side of every one of these issues, particularly energy. Leaving aside the issue of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking will be settled in the courts, the legislature, and/or the governor’s office), Sustainable Otsego and its cohorts oppose gas. Period.

They oppose transmission of gas through the Constitution Pipeline. They oppose the construction of distribution pipelines such as the Leatherstocking. They oppose the use of liquid natural gas for stranded facilities such as Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.

It doesn’t matter where it comes from, they’re against it. Never mind that gas would save the residents and businesses in Otsego County millions of dollars. Literally M-I-L-L-I-O-N-S of dollars. That’s real dollars we’re talking about, the monthly heating and cooking bill at home: heat for the hospital, the school, the office, the plant at work. Sustainable Otsego will have none of it.

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