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June 22, 2013

There's no economy without ecology

My neighbor approached me at the last Sidney Town Board meeting saying we have something in common. What he meant was the beautiful hill where I live and where he has land to “develop.”

Many of my friends went to Albany to petition their government to protect and defend their homes from CONstitution Pipeline with drilling and fracking to follow. The DEC, Department of Environmental Conservation, has asked Williams and Cabot to evaluate a complete build-out of high-volume hydrofracking all along the route.

This is a polarizing issue, but only if we participate in what one friend dubbed a circular firing squad. If we allow ourselves to be made sport of, the political parties — both Democrat and Republican — with arguments that local oil and gas will stay local and keep our children out of war, or that the only avenue for development is mountaintop removal and unconventional oil and gas drilling, will distract us long enough for corporate interests to prevail. Corporate “citizens” have no home, no allegiance, no patriotism and won’t be here later when air and water are harmed and our true riches despoiled.

Pennsylvania farmers and residents have come to Sidney to warn what bad neighbors drilling, pipelines, compressor stations really are; how health and community costs are externalized to reap higher corporate profits. Raising our voices now is the only participatory democratic avenue when money dictates politics in Albany and Washington.

Thank you, local patriots who are making visible a beautiful thing, people coming together to work for a sustainable local economy. There is no economy without ecology, for living, breathing citizens.

It is easy to see during this fruitful and gorgeous summertime what we have to lose.

Cathy McNulty

Sidney Center

McNulty says she is writing on behalf of Friends of Sustainable Sidney.

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