Monday, January 28, 2013

Guest Viewpoint : Farmers Have Special Link With Land

Written by Erick Coolidge Since the mid-1800s, my family has owned and operated a dairy farm in Tioga County, Pa. Today, our son represents the fifth generation on Le-Ma-Re Farms. I am proud to tell people I am a farmer, and am humbled by the opportunities agriculture has provided me to produce a quality food product, to provide for my family, and to serve my community. These opportunities to serve include 17 years as a Tioga County commissioner and my role as vice chair of the USDA’s Dairy Industry Advisory Committee. Here in Tioga County, agriculture is our No. 1 industry. Our farms support multiple generations and represent a rich history of this region. The land we maintain is our heritage, our livelihood and our home. As farmers, we respect this history and appreciate the opportunities our land affords us. In this region, we are finding the balance between production agriculture and other land-based industries, including those related to our natural gas resources. We know it’s critical to understand the opportunities this exploration brings, and to mitigate potential pitfalls. For the past six years, I’ve served as co-chair of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania’s oil and gas task force, which prepares communities for changes that come with natural resource exploration. In many ways, we’re still on the front-end of this exploration. But we are all well aware that how we handle things today will affect our children and their children. The Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence, a nonprofit group of which I am a board member, recently surveyed 300 dairy producers in Northern Tier counties. More than 80 percent of responders shared they “intended to remain in the dairy business in the event [they] received income from the sale of natural gas.” Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) said they would invest revenue in farm modernization projects. New industry development and farm success, then, are not mutually exclusive. To imply that natural gas development is responsible for fewer cow numbers and decreased milk production is an incomplete statement. Labor, fuel prices, seed, feed costs and other variables all affect on-farm production. Irresponsible statements about the agriculture industry, the dairy sector, or the oil and gas industry do not serve the public’s best interest. As a dairy farmer in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, our farm has never been more strongly regulated than right now from an environmental standpoint. My family also works closely with our veterinarian and our milk company. Milk is tested multiple times from the moment it leaves the cow until consumers pick up a carton. Abundant, safe milk is my family’s livelihood. We still have conversations about the development of our region, exploration of natural resources, food safety and farm preservation. My hope is that these continue to interconnect. Only by working together can we ensure a future in which we all prosper. Coolidge is a Wellsboro, Pa., resident

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

" FrackNation " Premier Jan. 22 9PM-AXS-TV

FrackNation" Premier and More Ways to Show Support for NG Dear Friends and Natural Gas Supporters, . With some of the coldest weather so far this winter (and last winter also!) settling over the northeast what could be better than curling up in the evening in your nice warm home (thanks to Natural Gas in many cases!) with a cup of hot cocoa (warmed with electricity generated at a Natural Gas fired generation plant in many cases) and watching a movie on TV (also powered by that same electricity produced from Natural Gas)? Sounds good, doesn't it? And, almost as if on queue, now there's a great new Natural Gas documentary movie you're about to hear a lot about. No, it's not Matt Damon's Arab funded "Promised Land". That propaganda piece is already fading into obscurity for lack of any credibility. No, now it's time for the pro-gas facts! Now it's time for... ..."FrackNation"... ...and it will premier today, January 22!! And you're invited to see it first! Those of you with access will want to tune in to AXS TV at 9:00 PM to see it. For more details see the official release at the end of this email. It promises to be a hard hitting, heart warming movie that natural gas supporters have been waiting for. But don't take my word for it. See it for yourself! In the spirit of this new movie, we're asking you one more time to send a greeting to Governor Cuomo. Please down load, print, sign, and mail the file linked to here to Governor Cuomo at the following address… . The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of NY State NY State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224 . Please take advantage of this opportunity throughout the rest of this month to let the Governor know that we’re still here, that we’re thinking of him, and to remind him that we’re still expecting him to allow natural gas development to move forward with no more delays. . We know the Governor is hearing a lot of noise from the anti-gas activists. They're not giving up! Even as they face defeat they're screaming louder than ever. In fact, they're bringing in the likes of Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono in a desperate bid to portray their factually bankrupt pleas as a somehow meaningful popular opinion. We need to make sure that Governor hears from us more to discredit their pathetic "attention getting celebrity" tactics! . So in addition to watching "FrackNation" to get your resolve fired up and mailing the Governor our greeting to put that resolve into action, please also call the Governor at both of the following numbers to really drive the message home… . CALL GOVERNOR CUOMO . 518-474-8390 AND 212-681-4580 …and tell him the following… . · We have waited long enough to move ahead with natural gas - -please finalize the regulations and make NY open for business! · The whole world is turning to natural gas to help clean the environment and reduce our greenhouse gasses – New York needs to join our neighboring states and the nation in developing this opportunity. · The Southern Tier of NY has been left behind long enough. No more delays -- we want jobs, hope and prosperity. . As we told you before the rally, we need an all out effort to keep the pressure Governor Cuomo on if we are to succeed. This is in his hands! . The rally was a big success. It helped put the right message in the right place at the right time. But we can't rest on the successes of our previous efforts just yet. Governor Cuomo has to hear from us louder than ever before! Even if you have already called, do it again and again to reinforce the message! If you've already sent the greeting, do it again to show your conviction! And if you need encouragement to do so, watch "FrackNation"! And get your friends and neighbors to do the same! This is that important! . Warm Regards on a Cold January Day, Dan Fitzsimmons, President Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Great Letter that Never was Responded To

Mr. Benson, Ms. Dupree, Mr. Ek: I would like to request a meeting sometime with the three of you - making up the leadership of The Leader. The reason I would like to have a meeting is to try to present to you, without the irrational interruptions of the environmental wing-nuts, the arguments in favor of gas drilling. In giving "credit" where credit is due, The Leader has done more harm to the interests of our landowners, and all the others who would benefit from gas drilling, than any other single element. The four year drumbeat of overwhelmingly negative headlines, in many cases misleading headlines, and your failure to print, to the best of my knowledge, even one "human interest" story out of Pennsylvania, even though some of those stories are literally in our "backyard", has had the desired effect. In simply recognizing reality I have to admit that your influence on this issue has been crushing. However, as a realist, and as a strong fan of a free press, I have to recognize your right to do whatever you want in your paper. Only time will tell if you can offend enough people to cause, or significantly contribute to, your demise. ( In line with this way of thinking, I like to think that it was the "Gray Lady's" ridiculous level of bias that has led to the WSJ becoming the number one paper in the Country.) I cannot honestly say that I would expect to have any lasting impact on your thinking. What I would be hoping for is simply an opportunity to present the "pro" point of view in a semi-civil environment. I would simply like you to present your "concerns," and give me an opportunity to present the "other side". One hour. That would be my request on your time. Three of you, three of us. Myself, one other SCLOC member , and my wife. My wife's function would be to look up my "sources" for any point of concern we would run into. This would be an exercise in "common sense" answers. I am not a geologist. I am a history major who has been researching this subject fairly extensively for over four years. Please let me know if there is any way we could ever get together in this context. There is so much at stake, in so many ways, for so many different "interests", that it is very difficult to accept the damage you have done to our "cause" without at least an attempt to "reason" with your organization. Jeff Heller President SCLOC