In the Town of Oxford we have zoning. That means you canít do anything you want on your land; there are rules. We learned that in 2007 those rules were quietly changed so that oil and gas drilling ďmayĒ be permitted as a variance in all the vatious classifications of property. When people like me who are opposed to unconventional gas drilling heard this, we had a range of opinions. Some thought that we had been snookered by a midnight deal, others thought that given what people knew about drilling in 2007 that it was an attempt to protect us. Regardless of opinion, the fact is that we do know much more about this process in 2012 and one thing we all know is that many of us have many unanswered questions. In the past weeks we have learned that we knew even less than we thought, as we learned that the state is going to let local communities have an expanded role in deciding if drilling is permitted in their towns.
Many of us in Oxford have been asking a very reasonable question. Why, with all the unanswered questions isnít it reasonable to have a moratorium on the whole question? Most people in Oxford, like in most other commuities around here, have been trying to avoid thinking about unconventional gas drilling for some time. They have dreaded the anger and fracturing of community that issue had brought and have sought to pretend that it is not here, or that it is a done deal. It indeed is here and it does not have to happen. Tell the Oxford Town Board what you think. Make your voice heard Ė get in the zone!
David J. Davis