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Letter to the Editor: Residents Need to Remain Vigilant on Pipeline

Written By Editor on 6/13/14 | 6/13/14

Dear Editor:

For almost two years residents of Schoharie County have faced the possibility that a large, high-pressure natural gas pipeline would cut through the heart of the County while landowners in its path would face the seizure of their property under eminent domain or be forced to settle for a small one-time payment in exchange for giving up control of their property to Constitution Pipeline Company forever. At the same time many read news stories about the terrible safety record of the very companies proposing to build the pipeline, with almost monthly reports of fires and explosions, all to facilitate the export of fracked gas to Canada and ultimately overseas.

To their credit, many area residents organized and resisted bullying by the pipeline company, while simultaneously, the NY State DEC and other agencies called the pipeline company’s proposal inadequate and potentially harmful to the environment.  As a result, the Constitution Pipeline approval process has been significantly delayed and the project may never be built.

But before beleaguered landowners could breathe a sigh of relief they now have a second pipeline proposal slashing through many of the same properties. It is clear Schoharie County is a target for exploitation by gas companies who think they can do what they want to rural communities and ultimately, build an infrastructure that will help them frack our farms, fields and backyards.

The only way to stop them is to refuse to allow them to survey, to refuse to sign your rights away. Constitution is in trouble because the residents of our region have said “no” in large numbers. So far Schoharie County has been stronger than the drillers and the pipeline companies. We need to continue to be strong and not allow the dangerous industrialization of our rural communities.

If you receive a letter from a pipeline company return it to them with a registered letter denying them permission to come on your property.  If they knock on your door, send them away without permission to survey. If, at any time, you are harassed, threatened, intimidated or trespassed upon by pipeline representatives call the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities toll-free Landowner Response Line at 1-800-795-1467 and we will stand with you and help you protect your rights.

For additional information visit the Stop the Pipeline web site: www.stopthepipeline.org and consider attending the Stop the Pipeline meetings held monthly in Oneonta.

Bob Nied
Board of Directors
Center for Sustainable Rural Communities
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