OXFORD – A petition imploring the Oxford town board to reconsider enacting a moratorium on high volume hydraulic fracturing was submitted last Thursday. Although the Village of Oxford was the first municipality in Chenango County to pass a moratorium on the natural gas drilling activity in September, the Town of Oxford decided, in August, to remain neutral. The petition submitted last week was signed by 972 Oxford town and village residents. According to a 2010 census, 3,901 people live in the town.
A letter affixed to the binder containing the 972 signatures, addressed to the Oxford town’s councilmen, clerk, and supervisor, indicated that signatories from other townships as well as duplicate signatories had been excluded from the total number. The letter went on to ask members of the town board to consider their responsibility to represent the views of all of the town’s residents and take more time to address all of the issues surrounding fracturing. The letter also stated that “by enacting a moratorium, the Oxford Town Board will make its intention clear to the governor and the DEC that the Oxford Town Board is committed to protecting its residents ...” The letter also made clear that of the 972 signatories, 817 expressed an interest in an outright ban.