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Published by Jon Campbell

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Published by: Jon Campbell on Sep 06, 2012
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September 5, 2012The Honorable Andrew M. CuomoGovernor of New York StateNYS Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224Dear Governor Cuomo: We, the undersigned elected officials, are writing to you with an urgent appeal to make a decision withregard to natural gas drilling in the Southern Tier of the state. As you know, we have been on the front lines in this debate for several years. We have studied the factsand data. We have talked to experts. Many of us have visited Pennsylvania to see ongoing drillingoperations. All of us have had extensive interaction with our constituents.Based upon this careful deliberation, we have come to the conclusion that natural gas extraction, if handled properly, represents a unique opportunity to help our communities produce jobs and economicactivity.Pursuant to your published comments on this matter, we have all enacted town resolutions declaring oursupport for the DEC and the Executive and its process for moving forward. This action has made us a target for those who oppose the process. These individuals, most of whom livefar outside our communities, simply do not care about our economic situation. Their concerns areideological; ours are practical. We understood there would be strident opposition when we passed resolutions in favor of responsibledrilling, but we went ahead in the belief that you wanted a demonstration of support and that it wouldadvance the process.More than 40 towns have now passed resolutions in favor of responsible drilling. We consider this to beevidence of strong support for responsible drilling in the affected region. Given this demonstration of support, we do not understand the continued delay by your administration.We do not understand why New York State continues to debate a process that is carried out successfullyin dozens of states for years and which was hailed recently by President Obama as an economic andenvironmental boom to the nation. On behalf of our constituents, we urge you to act – to direct the DEC to move forward as soon aspossible with rules and regulations governing the process and to begin permitting. We want you to know that continued delay is problematic for several reasons. First, you need tounderstand the dire situation facing both our constituents and our municipalities. Our constituents’ farms,businesses and finances are precarious. Many individuals are holding on in expectation of being able todevelop their property, but they cannot hold on much longer. Every day of delay means more will have tosell out. As you might imagine, this has a tremendous negative impact on municipal finances. Perhaps noother region of the state has been harder hit by economic decline than our region. Responsible drilling isour best hope for resurgence.Second, continued delay diminishes the economic benefits that could accrue in the Southern Tier if drilling was permitted. In this regard, businesses in this sector are making investment decisions now that
will mean jobs added in Pennsylvania instead of New York. We are aware of several instances recentlywhere major support facilities linked to drilling have been constructed across the border rather than inNew York. We have lost jobs and investment as a result.
Lastly, the delay is only empowering opponents, some of whom have now taken to civildisobedience and other disruptive acts. While everyone supports the right of people toexpress their views, we see a situation where opponents are distorting the facts andtrying to impose their views of what is right in our community.
 For all these reasons and more, we urge you to act as soon as possible. We urge you to enact a plan topromote responsible drilling.Thank you for considering our views on this matter.Signees:Supervisor Lois DilworthTown of BarkerSupervisor James E. FinchTown of ConklinSupervisor Tim WhitesellTown of BinghamtonSupervisor Randy WilliamsTown of WindsorSupervisor George LudingtonTown of MaineSupervisor Dewey DeckerTown of SanfordSupervisor Tim AxtellTown of DepositSupervisor Lucille KernanTown of JasperSupervisor Charles HarmonTown of AvocaSupervisor Marcia BurnsTown of BathSupervisor Robert NicholsTown of TuscaroraSupervisor Scott GrantTown of Woodhull

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