ALBANY – Hundreds of farmers, small business owners, laborers, homeowners, students and organizations that support them in the fight to create jobs and opportunities through safe and proven natural gas development will ask Governor Cuomo to join them today by lifting the moratorium on high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York.
The rally began this morning at the Corning Preserve Amphitheatre, with speakers from around the state addressing the issues facing their communities and the benefits natural gas development offers. At noon, the crowd will march to the Capitol and gather in West Capitol Park for additional speeches. Speakers include elected officials, labor leaders, small business owners, land owners and an industry representative.
Local groups participating in the rally are: The Chenango County Farm Bureau, Central New York Landowners Coalition, Bainbridge Area Landowners, Oxford Land Group and Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.
“We remain confident that New York is on the right path toward safe and responsible development of the Marcellus Shale, and we have quietly waited for four years for DEC to complete its review and recommend best practices that will make the state a leader in natural gas production,” said Susan Dorsey, a Chenango County mother of seven and former tax assessor. “However, noise by well-funded and organized activists masquerading as environmentalists, who often do not need to make a living in our communities, can no longer go unchecked. We want to make clear we believe that natural gas development offers the best path to create jobs, rebuild communities and restore the future for families across the Southern Tier.”
Dorsey and other ralliers cite the jobs and revenues created just across the border in Pennsylvania, and how natural gas development has rebuilt communities, injected new life into dying farms, and kept families together. New manufacturing facilities are locating in Pennsylvania, creating many stable good paying jobs. Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor estimates that allowing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has created over 72,000 gas and oil jobs since 2009. In addition, Pennsylvania’s utility ratepayers saved an average of $3,000 per household in the last three years due to the abundance of natural gas created by hydraulic fracturing – providing a needed boost to families all over that state.
“The Pennsylvania story is a positive one that shows that when government, local people and industry work together, you can create jobs while protecting public health and lands,” said Uni Blake, an Otsego County environmental scientist and mother of five. “We live here, work here, farm here, and raise our families here. We are not interested in destroying our future with unproven, unsafe technology and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous. We have done the homework and we know this can be done safely, and we know New York State is making sure it will be done safely.”
The following are some of the benefits developing the state’s shale reserves:
• New York’s unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. Close to 250,000 New Yorkers already rely on the oil and natural gas industry for jobs. Allowing hydraulic fracturing will create tens of thousands of new jobs in the state’s gas and oil industry.
• Allowing natural gas drilling could bring $11.4 billion into the state’s economy, as well as potentially generate $1.4 billion in state and local taxes.
• New York’s “Ad Valorem” property tax creates significant revenue for towns, villages, counties and schools where gas wells are located and in production. The revenue comes from a tax placed on the gas companies working in the area. In the town of Owego, in Tioga County, adding two wells per year, with six wells over three years, would bring in more than $3.7 million in Ad Valorem tax revenue for local schools and government.