Some New Yorkers don’t give a frack about the environment – they want shiny new cars, better houses, recreational vehicles and the Jones’ to weep in their Arnold Palmers out of envy for their lucrative lifestyles. In order to keep fracking despite Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ban on fracking last December, 15 towns have threatened secession from the state, opting to join with the frackheads in Pennsylvania.
The collective of 15 towns is known as the Upstate New York Towns Association. The towns sit right on top of the infamous Marcellus Shale deposit, which is a vast source for natural gas that currently supplies several states with the natural resource, not to mention makes a number of people quite wealthy, and the Association is hoping to cash in. Dead set against the fracking ban, the Association is looking into options for the numerous towns. Research is underway considering the pros and cons of secession, such as differences in tax rates, health insurance, unemployment assistance and rates, etc.
Supervisor of Conklin, New York, James Finch stated:
The Southern Tier is desolate. We have no jobs and no income. The richest resource we have is in the ground.
Everybody over the border has new cars, new four-wheelers, new snowmobiles. They have new roofs, new siding.
Of course, there’s about as much chance of these 15 towns seceding from the state of New York as Dick Cheney turning himself in for war crimes considering approval would need to be granted by the legislature of both New York and Pennsylvania, not to mention the federal government, as well.
The administration’s new investment plan for the Southern Tier includes a $20 million clean energy plan that will encourage companies to compete for funding, technical assistance and other services. It will be based at Binghamton University and encourage development in the region. A $30 million agriculture proposal is designed to help farmers grow, maintain and develop businesses in the Southern Tier…
Supporting agriculture is a good step, but the region has been losing farms for years, [Finch] said. The administration plan to pay farmers up to $500 dollars an acre to preserve farmland for 25 years won’t reverse that trend, he said. Neither would a casino in the region, he said.
We’re supposed to get a casino, but you can’t spend money in a casino if no one works. There’s nothing going on, really.
While the plight of those towns with few developments in the area to support viable commerce is lamentable for all who live there, it hardly counters the larger picture of exploiting and polluting the land, air and water of the state of New York to such a long-term extent for the profit of a few. In the long run, Gov. Cuomo’s compromise is the better deal for those towns, and New York, even if those currently living there won’t be able to run right out and by themselves a new four-wheeler quite as soon as they would like.