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Opinion

October 31, 2013

Fracking still an issue in election

Fracking still an issue in election

Recent columns suggest that the fight over natural gas extraction in New York is over. Gas advocates like Dick Downey and Chuck Pinkey bemoan a missed opportunity, while others of us have slept easier at night, believing we’ve securely avoided environmental catastrophe. 

It is easy to forget that Gov. Cuomo has still made no decision regarding a fracking ban, and the New York Court of Appeals has yet to determine whether lower-court rulings on home rule will stand. Celebration at this point is premature. We should not forget that we have an important election looming that could determine the future of gas drilling in our county. The worst thing we can do now is to allow ourselves to be lulled into complacency.

The words “Home Rule” have utterly disappeared from all correspondence from Sen. Seward over the past two years. Whatever gains have been made to protect New York from fracking have happened, not in Albany, but locally in town after town, county after county, because towns like Middlefield and Otsego have been willing to stick their necks out and elect local leaders who will stand on the front lines with them — leaders like John Kosmer and Beth Rosenthal, who are up for reelection in Districts 8 and 7.

Kosmer and Rosenthal have proven themselves effective members of the county board by critically examining unfunded mandates from Albany, proposing economic and tax reform, supporting agriculture and new business ventures, and investigating broadband Internet. All these issues are important, but for me the overriding cause that makes this election so critical is the persistent issue of natural gas. In their unwavering opposition to shale gas extraction, its transport throughout our region, and spreading of fracking brine on our roads, Sustainable Otsego candidates like Kosmer and Rosenthal have proven themselves deserving of our vote.

Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText ColorGeorge Hovis

Middlefield

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