Saturday, May 4, 2013

Excellent Letter to The Leader by Jeff Heller-President of SCLOC

To the Editor: Is it at all possible to go back to just basic common sense on the issue of gas drilling and New York politics? To eliminate the fear and emotion and stick to the truth - the "known knowns." In New York, for example, there is only one possible way to get beyond the totally irrational and dysfunctional assembly and the almost as bad senate - with good leadership from our Governor. Oops, New York has a problem! One central "known" must be pounded into our brains before we go any further: EVERY other state sitting on a significant shale play is drilling - including such right wing states as Illinois and California. Why haven't any of those roughly thirty states reversed their policies if the drilling process is as damaging as the environmentalists say it is ? Because of another one of the "knowns" - the benefits outweigh the risks! Common sense - it is that simple. It's almost embarrassing that a list of supporters of natural gas drilling has to include so many right-wing radicals: Obama, Bill and Hillary, Lisa Jackson, Ken Salazar, Mayor Bloomberg,Ed Rendell, Jerry Brown, etc.! So we have another "known known" - our Governor stands virtually alone among political leaders in his opposition to gas drilling. But then he's not totally alone - he has Yoko Ono on his side! Anyone who has seen the artistic talent she radiates in one of her song and dance routines surely understands why our governor is more devoted to her than the working stiffs of our state. On April 14 New York Magazine reported that the Governor asked in an interview: "What if a child falls into a well casing." " I don't want the liability, frankly, and I don't have the knowledge." This may be one of greatest statements made by a governor in New York's history. To be as diplomatic as possible it should be fair to say that this is not a statement from the sharpest tack in the box. In an April 19 interview the Governor said: "Economic development no longer works on a big bang theory, we have to develop a thousand economic flowers." He suggested, in effect, that he would rely on the Yogurt industry to lift upstate New York out of poverty! Now there's an "unknown known" - there are more and better paying jobs in the Yogurt industry than in oil and natural gas! Sorry - there's that dull tack again! We need leadership on this issue in New York. We need a strong governor who will, in fact, base his thinking and decision making on science and reason, not on politics and emotion. We need a governor with common sense. This governor displays very little scientific awareness, a lack of common sense, and even less willingness to act in the real interests of his citizens. In fact, in the words of Teddy Roosevelt - a New York Governor who could make decisions - our governor "has the backbone of a chocolate eclair." If Hillary decides to run in the 2016 primary, our governor is toast. However, he could still be picked to give the keynote speech. This would give him an opportunity to point out the thousands of children that fell into gas well casings across the country, and compare all the benefits that have fallen on New York from the Yogurt industry to all the devastation and economic ruin experienced by all the states that are drilling. Now THAT would make a fascinating keynote speech! Jeff Heller

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