Wednesday, April 11, 2012

From-THE LEADER-Wednesday April 11, 2012

To the Editor: The March 27 edition of the Corning Leader included a front page article about a new anti-fracking group. This group, composed mainly of people outside our region and outside New York, managed to grab the top spot in the newspaper with its claims about how gas drilling will ruin our community. Meanwhile, landowners in the Southern Tier with a different view struggle to gain the attention of the Leader. Why is that? Well, we don’t make wild charges. We don’t try to scare people. We don’t try to tell others how to live their lives. We want just one thing: We want the ability to tap the natural resources on our property. And since it’s our land where our families live, we want to do it responsibly and safely. Unlike most members of the anti-drilling groups, we’re going to be here a year from now. This is our community, and we think responsible development of natural gas is a good thing. When we look across the border into Pennsylvania we see real prosperity and we want the same thing here. The “anti-drilling” groups aren’t thinking about creating jobs in the Southern Tier; they have other motivations, which I do not judge, except to the extent that they infringe on our rights to responsibly develop our property. My sentiments aren’t unique. My views are shared by the more than 70,000 members of the 38 individual landowner coalitions making up the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY.) The JLCNY has been holding educational forums throughout the Southern Tier that focus on protecting property rights, accessing accurate information on environmental impacts and providing unbiased facts to show how SAFE (Shale Assisted Fissure Extraction) drilling can have a positive effect on the local economy. These educational activities are accomplished solely through volunteers and their many hours of dedicated, unpaid work. The members of the JLCNY are real people who just want a say when it comes to their land and the economic viability of their communities. It’s too bad the Leader doesn’t write about their efforts on its front page. Sincerely, Neil Vitale JLCNY and Steuben County Landowners Coalition member Woodhull, NY

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