While you’re at it, Governor, have your people scroll back to The Big Story (Associated Press, August 16, 2013), when the US Energy Information Agency related that CO2 emissions in the United States had reached a 20-year low. The drop-off, the agency said, was mainly due to power companies switching from coal to natural gas. So, you can take the bricks out of the gubernatorial toilet tank and turn the thermostat up a couple of clicks, and still feel righteous … provided you follow the science on what really is working to lower CO2 emissions.
Diana Furchgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute has studied the economic effect of gas development in Pennsylvania on per capita income over the last decade and projected the findings on New York. While projections are subject to market price fluctuations and the unknown capacity and quality of New York’s untested gas fields, the conclusions are impressive. If New York had developed its gas resources, it would have garnered $8 billion dollars in extra income for its citizens over a 4-year period. The study doesn’t include the substantial taxes that would have gone to our local schools, towns and highway departments through the ad valorem tax. Sure beats the economic news from Elmira and Binghamton. (Manhattan Institute, Growth and Prosperity Report, May 2013)
Lately you’ve been touting upstate job development through tourism, casinos, yogurt, and tax free start-ups. We welcome your attention to Upstate New York’s fundamental problem: many people can’t make a living here. However, we suggest that your vision of rambling, gambling, sipping, and slipping tax payer cash to selected private individuals and companies isn’t going to provide the economic heft to reverse our decline. Upstaters need good jobs, cheap energy, lower taxes. We need opportunities for our young. We need support for an educational system that expands opportunity rather than closes schools.
So, the decision is up to you. Are you going to join the rest of the country that has realistically looked at risk/benefit, strengthened regulation, and embraced the gift of shale gas technology? Or are you joining the naysayers who can only predict The Apocalypse.
The data’s in. Are you in or out? It’s your call.
DICK DOWNEY is a member of the Unatego Area Landowners Association.