Speak out against fracking - Cobleskill, NY
Cobleskill could be fracked!
Here is the Times Journal article highlighting the fact that the board wants to do nothing and sees no problem with fracking! Let's get a crowd to the next meeting and let them know why fracking is a terrible idea!
Cobleskill considering allowing limited fracking
Once it finishes tightening up its land use regulations, the Town of Cobleskill could allow hydrofracking in its two industrial zones, both stone quarries owned by Cobleskill Stone Products.
It's also putting its fracking protection faith in a Road Preservation Law being drawn up by the Planning Board.
Neither of those things are sitting well with the dozen anti-fracking activists who hired land use attorney Michelle Kennedy to look at Cobleskill's land use regulations
Concerned Citizens for the Town of Cobleskill brought Ms. Kennedy's report-she's also worked on fracking protection for Sharon Springs-to Supervisor Tom Murray and councilmen last Monday, alarmed there's been little follow-up after a June 29 meeting with David Slottje, another land use attorney.
"We believe we can protect ourselves with zoning," Mr. Murray said.
"And two experts have found holes [in it]," answered Concerned Citizens' Jud Speer.
Mr. Murray said he expects the ad hoc committee of Councilmen Ryan McAllister and Sherwood Veith-Mr. McAllister has said he believes fracking can be done safely and Mr. Veith opposes it-along with Planning Board members Bruce Wetsell and Terry Keller to recommend changes to the town's Zoning Code by spring.
"We're asking you for a moratorium," said Concerned Citizens' Tom Wadsworth. "All it does is let you do what you're doing now.
"We're asking you to protect this community. This is a step-by-step plan [Ms. Kennedy's report] to ensure the Town of Cobleskill is protected against fracking."
Mr. McAllister, also an attorney, said New York State won't be issuing fracking permits until February-at the earliest.
Looking at the town's zoning regulations, he said, they found "two locations where we believe fracking could occur"-the industrial zones.
It could also occur in the town's Planned Development Districts by special permit, he said.
Mr. McAllister said he's opposed to changing the town's zoning to prohibit fracking.
"And you believe this will protect us from fracking?" asked Mr. Wadsworth.
"Not from your standards," Mr. McAllister said, going on to criticize Mr. Wadsworth and fractivists for "impugning the integrity of anyone who's for fracking" as either on the take or stupid.
A lifelong Cobleskill resident who's raising his family here, Mr. McAllister said he takes the health and safety of his constituents very seriously.
"I think people get turned off-I get turned off-when it seems anyone who...somehow we're duped or we have the wrong motive," Mr. McAllister said.
"It gets under my skin," adding that if the state allows fracking, it will be strictly and appropriately regulated.
Bob Nied of Richmondville said a Road Preservation Law won't do anything to mitigate the environmental impacts of fracking and argued it's a regional issue.
"What happens in Cobleskill doesn't stay in Cobleskill," he said, because of the watershed.
Bill Lancaster, also of Richmondville, said he was surprised by noise and disruption created by fracking near a friend's home in Phoenix, near Otsego Lake.
"If it comes here...I implore you to think of the people who live here. Just take a group and go see. You might think of it a little differently."
Mike Shuster, who's helped lead the fight against fracking in Sharon Springs, asked for an explanation of what's to be gained by allowing fracking.
"Am I dumb for not understanding?" Mr. Speer asked Mr. Murray for "some nugget we can grab hold of."
"Our zoning," Mr. Murray answered. "We believe we can protect ourselves with our zoning."