Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Starting the New Year off with a Excellent OP-ED in The Leader by Jeff Heller.

New Year's Resolutions of a Landowner: I have finally settled on a broad resolution for 2014: I will not be bitter about the things that make me bitter. I will not be bitter about the fact that New York is the only state not taking advantage of all the proven benefits of hydraulic fracturing that the other states (31) are. But I do feel better when I realize that by doing this we are keeping Yoko Ono happy! I will not be bitter that N.Y. has passed up all the tax revenue benefits of our Title V of our tax code. Most of the states that are intelligent enough to take advantage of Hydraulic fracturing - did I mention that was 31 states! - would kill to have our Title V in their state codes. But then I realize that in N.Y. our counties, towns, and school districts don't need millions in extra revenue! And we certainly don't need any chance of reducing our property taxes! I will not be bitter that N.Y. has passed up at least 100,000 jobs. (The Pa. Dept. of Labor placed the number of jobs directly dependent on the Marcellus Shale for the first quarter of 2013 at a mere 232,000!) But then I realize that N.Y. doesn't need these solid year round jobs - we've got gambling and tourism. And we all know that could bring in several thousand seasonal jobs - right? I will not be bitter that the state, and any town moratorium represents a "taking" of the land owners' mineral rights. This is a really tough one because it goes against one of the most fundamental beliefs of the Founding Fathers - the need to protect private property rights. ( This was one of the few, if not the only, principals that there was 100% agreement on!) N.Y. has just thrown that baby out the window! But, they have balanced that travesty with the gift of The Safe Act! (Why is it that whenever a liberal sees someone carrying a gun, they see a criminal. But whenever the rest of us see someone carrying a gun, we see a fellow deer hunter!) I will not be bitter that Pa. has better roads in the areas of drilling than we do - and at no cost to the taxpayers! N.Y. would have no use whatsoever for well over half a billion in road improvements - at no cost to the taxpayers! I will not be bitter that none of the states that are allowing hydraulic fracturing (did I mention that was 31 states!) are experiencing the devastation that our environmentalists are sure will occur (only) in N.Y. I will not be bitter that my wife and I made a huge mistake in deciding to retire in the Finger Lakes region rather than the Endless Mountains region of Pa., where we started looking first. (My accountant was right again!) On balance I do have to admit that the fishing is much better up here - and that provides the best therapy to help me get over my bitterness! I will not be bitter that N.Y. loves Yoko Ono more than it does it's farmers, or its job seekers, or its businesses, or its county's, or its towns, or its school districts, or ………; I'm beginning to drift! Actually, if you have ever seen Yoko singing, and dancing to "Don't Frack My Mother", I'm sure you'll feel a lot better about Cuomo and the environmentalists loving her and hating us. I really need to stop listing anymore of my resolutions - I'm getting bitter! Actually, I need to go make reservations to see the popular new trio that's touring the country in 2014. They're Governors Brown, Simms, and Hickenlooper from those great conservative states of California, Illinois, and Colorado respectively. They will be calling themselves "The Frackers", and I've already heard they have great pipes, and they really drilled their new routine! Here's hoping to see some of you, from both sides, when "The Frackers" come to New York - assuming we haven't turned out the lights in New York before then. Jeff Heller

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