John Kosmer’s July 13 submission, “Fracking and prosperity don’t mix,” is a disturbing distillation of uninformed statements about the economic vitality that natural gas development could bring to New York state.
Those who oppose natural gas development want you to believe this is unproven and dangerous: it is not. Countless experts have made public statements attesting that there have been no instances of groundwater contamination due to this process. Ever. Nowhere. Yes, there have been some public spectacles made of perceived problems, but close scrutiny by experts — not celebrities or passionate activists — have let facts and science prove that our groundwater is indeed safe.
As for prosperity, look at Windsor. Because of the compressor station and pipeline, Windsor residents were relieved of significant tax burdens last year. If we can drill just one Marcellus well in Broome County, the property tax on that one well will pay more than $358,000 in ad valorem tax, which stays in the county.
Not convinced? Look south to Butler County, Pa. The controller’s annual report shows that local property owners could earn as much as $100 million in royalty fees, which would dramatically impact the local economy. Also in 2012, the county received $1.2 million in impact fees and a portion of this was used to balance the 2013 budget.
These are growth patterns with enduring impacts. And — the best part — is the water, the environment, the quality of life in Butler County have not suffered. In fact, quality of life generally improves when families are lifted from poverty or economic hardship.
Elected officials who see the potential that natural gas development brings are the leaders we need in our community. We don’t need officials who don’t understand fact and reason or who follow the loudest, least-informed drummers.
Anna Marie Lusins