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Analysis: Fracking Development Would Mainly Aid Two Local Companies

Written By Editor on 9/7/14 | 9/7/14

The fracking debate in Schoharie County has heated up of late. The New York State Legislature has passed a three year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. In Middleburgh, Town Board members are under fire by local residents for delaying a vote on the Slottje anti-fracking provisions. A state court decision also stated that local home rule laws could strictly allow or ban the practice.

However, one company believes that these local laws are irrelevant and deserve to be ignored.

“The ultimate lever for utilizing home rule is zoning, but the oil and gas laws supersede municipal zoning laws,” said Cobleskill Stone Products Attorney John Holmes when interviewed for an academic publication, “...Should the local have a veto effect over the majority? You have heard of a tyranny of the majority, what about a tyranny over the majority by the minority?” The attorney added that the company has a contract for natural gas development on a property in Chenango County, NY.

Former Cobleskill Mayor Mark Galasso believes similarly. He stated in the same series of interviews that loyalty to Schoharie County is irrelevant and that it could only be placed in the United States. He blamed local politics, “Home rule is mob rule.” In 2011, it was reported that upwards of 35% of profits of Galasso's company, Lancaster Development is due to hydraulic fracturing involvement. His company builds many of the large roads for fracking practices in Pennsylvania. He said that anti-natural gas advocates' thinking "is like that of a Neanderthal."

It was reported in December 2012 in the Cobleskill paper that the Town of Cobleskill was considering allowing fracking in its two industrial zones-- both owned by Cobleskill Stone Products, owned by Emil Galasso. The large amounts of water needed to hydraulic fracture the sites could now be provided by the extension of the Village's water line-- a $9.2 million project paid by taxpayers pushed through by then Mayor Galasso and then Supervisor Murray. As WNYT reported earlier this year, the pipe for the Constitution Pipeline has already been delivered to local sites. One of the primary staging sites for construction is owned by Lancaster Development in Richmondville.
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3 comments:

Jennifer Riley said...

I'm seeing too much similarities in last names. If fracking comes to this county I will be disgusted. We are seeing the results of fracking from California (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/california_fracking/faq.html). Why are we focusing so much on these non-renewable resources instead of moving forward faster with what is already there, such as wind, sun and water? This is ridiculous, shortsighted, and merely a scheme to make as much money as possible. What use is all that money if we poison our own backyard?

No Frack Man! said...

Greed will be the end of us all! Soon the Schoharie Valley will be the polluted plain instead of the fertile one it used to be. It's all about the almighty dollar!

upstateny1000 said...

Mr. Galasso's statement that loyalty to his home county is “irrelevant” is very telling. He clearly doesn’t prioritize the health, safety, property values or quality of life of his neighbors. He is interested only in the money to be made in the dirty fracking and pipeline business and if Schoharie County suffers, so be it. Mr. Galasso's ridiculous and nonsensical statements about "mob rule" and "Neanderthal" thinking are just the normal bluster that he favors as a way of not addressing the real issues like the dangers fracking and pipelines present to his community.

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