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Letters to the Editor

October 7, 2013

Beware pro-frackers speaking in code

Beware of coded campaign-speak by pro-fracking candidates. Far-right Republicans controlling the Otsego County Republican Committee are misguided. Incredibly, in the face of outright rejection of fracking in Otsego County, they still push pro-fracking candidates. Their pro-fracking extremism threatens job growth and puts our communities at risk. A pro-fracking majority board will derail sustainable economic development. 

This dirty, poorly regulated industry is plagued with an increasing cascade of documented community-threatening tragedies like: ignitable water, fouled water, communities running out of water, toxic air, earthquakes, homes losing value/insurance/mortgages, pipeline failures, rig failures, climate-altering systemic methane leakage. 

To delink themselves from their pro-fracking position, they mask it, diverting our attention instead to economic development. But, not wanting to alienate their small minority base when pressed by fracking questions, they use coded phrases to hedge their position and appeal to supporters. 

Counter their strategy by asking candidates, “How have you supported sustainable development and a frack-free Otsego County?” After five years of heated fracking debate, if a candidate has not already overtly demonstrated that they are anti-fracking, you can bet they are pro-fracking. Listen for coded campaign-speak and share this letter with friends.

Coded phrases: 

Gas is a bridge fuel to the future. 

They have fracked safely for 60 years. 

Only if fracking can be done safely. 

There has never been a documented case of fracking contaminating water. 

Protect landowners’ rights. 

Let the DEC and courts decide. 

Towns will be sued if they pass moratoriums or bans. 

We need all jobs and businesses. 

Local towns lack expertise to make these decisions. 

Local towns shouldn’t dictate energy policy. 

Allowing towns to ban fracking was never the legislature’s intent. 

Renewables cannot supply our energy needs. 

Green alternatives are impractical and unproven. 

John Kosmer

Fly Creek

Kosmer represents District 8 on the Otsego County Board of Representatives. 

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