Posted: 10:55 PM, December 2, 2012 by Jim Finch in NYPost
The news that the state Department of Environmental Conservation
is taking another three-month extension on issuing rules to allow
“fracking” in New York means more folks in my town will be losing
their homes — and more still may lose hope.
In recent years, the town of Conklin has been hit by more than a
few blows. The first was a major flood in 2006; the second, felt
across the nation, the 2008 financial collapse. The third was
another major flood last year that ravaged our town. Combined with
the 2006 flood, some 250 homes were destroyed.
But our own state leaders have put another obstacle to Conklin’s
dreams: the ongoing moratorium on natural-gas development, which
leaves our community missing out on a host of opportunities.
This, when just one mile from our town sit the three most
productive gas wells in Susquehanna County, Penn.
In 2008, unemployment in New York state was just 4.7 percent.
Today, it’s 8.2 percent, well above the national average — and it’s
a lot higher here in the Southern Tier.
In Conklin and neighboring towns, decent jobs are hard to find.
With the rising costs of groceries, health-care and gasoline, it’s
a constant struggle to keep homes and farms in the family.
So many locals ask why our state keeps putting the brakes on an
industry looking to invest here.
For almost four years now, landowners, operators and laborers
alike have been awaiting the state’s release of its final rules for
natural-gas development. That the state missed its own Nov.