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Dear Friends:

I am honored to announce the endorsement of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) --- an organization whose membership reached 77,000 members.

Dan Fitzsimmons, President of the JLCNY said, "In 2010 as candidate for Congress against Congressman Maurice Hinchey, George spoke out strongly in support of natural gas drilling at the EPA hearing in Binghamton. He nearly defeated Hinchey in that race under the old district lines in a district that had 43,000 more registered Democrats.

George has continued his support for landowners through spearheading an effort to ensure passage of the "Defense of Property Rights Act" that would allow landowners to sue Governor Cuomo in Federal Court for denying New Yorkers mineral rights. Despite George's tremendous efforts, the legislation came up short in the last session of Congress. Passing the "Defense of Property Rights Act" will be a top priority of George when elected to Congress."

The mission of the JLCNY is to foster, promote, advance, and protect the common interests of the people and communities as they pertain to land, royalty and mineral rights through education and best environmental practices.

I am proud to continue to stand with this outstanding organization that includes some of our finest citizen advocates.

JLCNY members have shown tremendous leadership in hundreds of town meetings across our region and making our case to elected leaders in Albany and Washington.  They have courageously fought for property rights and the economic future of our state while always maintaining environmental concerns. 

I am confident that the thousands of members of the JLCNY in our district will support us in the Primary and General Elections and encourage friends and neighbors to do the same.  

Thank you!


George Phillips

Candidate for Congress (NY 22)

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The nearly $1 billion Constitution Pipeline project, which had been designed to take natural gas from Pennsylvania's shale gas fields to metropolitan New York and New England, has been abandoned after years of legal regulatory challenges made it economically unfeasible, a spokeswoman for project partner Duke Energy said Monday.

“Although Constitution did receive positive outcomes in recent court proceedings and permit applications, the economics associated with this greenfield project have since changed in such a way that they no longer justify investment,” Duke spokeswoman Tammie McGee said by email.

Duke is one of four project partners. The principal partner is The Williams Cos., based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Others are Houston-based Cabot Oil and Gas and Calgary, Alberta-based Alta Gas.

Williams, which has a 41% stake, said in its annual report last week that the Constitution project would suffer a 2019 loss of $354 million.

Since it was proposed in 2013 at a projected cost under $700 million, delays and legal challenges have driven the costs up by nearly 40%. After the project won Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval in 2014, New York regulators refused to issue critical water quality permits, citing concerns about danger to wetlands and stream crossings.

“This pipeline would have carried fracked natural gas across 251 water bodies, including 89 trout spawning streams, and through many unique and sensitive ecological areas such as old-growth forest and undisturbed springs, which provide vital habitat and are key to local ecosystems,” Richard Webster, director of legal programs for the environmental group Riverkeeper, said in a statement. Riverkeeper and other environmental groups have fought the project in courts.

“Constitution’s investors just confirmed what we have been saying for the past eight years — there is no need for this project,” said Anne Marie Garti, an environmental attorney and founding member of Stop the Pipeline. Landowners will now seek to reverse the eminent domain that the regulatory commission had imposed to take property for the pipeline, Garti said.

“At this critical moment for our climate, we cannot afford unnecessary fossil fuel projects that will lead to more fracking and exacerbate our climate crisis," Earthjustice lawyer Moneen Nasmith said in a written statement.

The Williams Cos. said in a statement that its existing pipeline network and planned expansions offer a much better investment return than new projects like Constitution that are impacted by an uncertain regulatory framework.

“Natural gas remains a critical part of our country’s clean energy future, and Williams is well-positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for natural gas as a reliable, low cost and clean alternative for power generation fuel, heating oil and diesel,” the pipeline giant said.

Environmental activists continue to fight another nearly $1 billion Williams project, the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, which would extend an existing pipeline to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey to New York City and Long Island. New York and New Jersey regulators have previously denied permits but allowed Williams to reapply.

JLCNY endorses George Phillips for Congress in New York’s 22nd Congressional District

BINGHAMTON – February 19, 2020 – The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York supports George Phillips for Congress in New York’s 22nd Congressional District. Dan Fitzsimmons, President of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York said:

George Phillips is a Republican candidate for Congress in New York’s 22nd Congressional District that includes most of Broome County, all of Chenango, Cortland, Oneida and Madison Counties and parts of Tioga, Oswego and Herkimer Counties. George has been a passionate advocate for the rights of landowners since the inception of the Joint Landowners Coalition.

In 2010 as candidate for Congress against Congressman Maurice Hinchey, George spoke out strongly in support of natural gas drilling at the EPA hearing in Binghamton. He nearly defeated Hinchey in that race under the old district lines in a district that had 43,000 more registered Democrats.

George has continued his support for landowners through spearheading an effort to ensure passage of the “Defense of Property Rights Act” that would allow landowners to sue Governor Cuomo in Federal Court for denying New Yorkers mineral rights. Despite George’s tremendous efforts, the legislation came up short in the last session of Congress. Passing the “Defense of Property Rights Act” will be a top priority of George when elected to Congress.

George has strong qualifications for Congress. He served as a top aide to a Congressman who was Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Vice Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, working on 4 bills signed into law including “The Trafficking Victims Protection Act” which helps rescue women from forced prostitution rings.

George served as Regional Director for Reclaim New York --- a group whose mission is to fight out of control taxes and corruption in New York State. He has also done work for the Jack Kemp Foundation named in honor of the Buffalo Bill football start who spearheaded the Reagan Tax Cuts.

George has served as a Dean of Students at Seton Catholic Central High School and an adjunct professor at Broome Community College. He also taught in inner city Washington, DC public school and the McCormack Secure Center – a maximum security youth detention facility.

George was recently endorsed by Dr. Art Laffer, a Reagan and Trump economic advisor who is the Father of Supply Side Economics.

George will fight for a “Freedom Agenda” in Washington that includes lowering property taxes by making it illegal for federal welfare mandates to be passed from Albany to our local taxes, mandating work requirements for welfare recipients, creating a dynamic market of choice to lower health care costs and a Reagan style plan to scour the federal government for waste and rein in the national debt.

George’s political philosophy is epitomized by the following quote from his mentor Jack Kemp, “There is no limit to what free men, free women and free markets can accomplish.”

George lives in Endwell with his wife and three children. To support George or learn more go to www.georgephillips.us

Recently a public notice appeared on municipal power giant Consolidated Edison’s webpage. The message they published is, “...new gas connections will be suspended in most of Westchester County service area until further notice.” Consolidated Edition, known as ConEd, is the power company that supplies millions of people and businesses in metropolitan New York with steam, electricity and natural gas.

There are a couple of reasons ConEd is preventing new customers from receiving cheap, clean natural gas: the population and construction in Westchester are rapidly increasing and the pipeline that feeds the region natural gas is too small an old. Furthermore, plans for a new, bigger pipeline transporting gas to Westchester can’t get past the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) green energy regulations.

It appears New York’s economic present and our green energy future has collided in a cart-before-the-horse scenario. Despite what we see around us in Central New York, there are areas of the state that have population and commercial growth. That development requires energy infrastructure to supply electricity and natural gas.

The problem is, some bureaucrats in their aspirations for a carbon neutral impact, refuse to consider any improvements or additions to carbon energy sources. They take this stance even though there are no green renewable options available to meet current demands.

Right now there are millions of dollars in private and taxpayer investments earmarked for commercial, industrial and educational buildings in Westchester that have stalled because their plans to use natural gas as an energy source have vanished. In the case of schools, these projects are voted on by members of the district which cause any changes to the scope of projects difficult. In the case of private development, the loss will be jobs and property tax revenue for local governments.

Ironically, in upstate New York, we have a shrinking population leaving empty houses and buildings which have idle gas pipes tunneled into basements delivering zero natural gas. Additionally, there are communities in upstate New York with hopes for natural gas to encourage development and keep existing industry, but extending a pipeline to them is unthinkable.

In Sidney, there is an odd, but not unexpected conflict between state agencies over the delivery of natural gas to a large, if not the largest employer in Delaware County. New York’s Empire State Development Corporation spent just shy of $1 million building infrastructure to deliver natural gas to this sizable business. At the same time, NYS DEC denied pipeline creek crossing permits to feed gas to the same factory. Closer to home, one of the largest employers in Chenango County in the Village of Greene is in a similar situation being denied access to cheap natural gas, which would lower their manufacturing costs.

It is already difficult to operate any size business in New York because of draconian regulations. Adding to the frustration is the fact we sit on a huge natural gas deposit, the Marcellus Shale Formation, from which gas is being pumped out of the ground just a few miles south in Pennsylvania.

We all know New York refuses to let us drill for gas in our state, but the latest proposed legislation from some politicians would prohibit even the delivery of natural gas from other states into or through New York. It’s not just New Yorkers who will be impacted by such legislation if it becomes law; there are millions of folks in New England who each winter depend on natural gas pipelines - all of which pass through New York State.

Let me remind you, this isn’t all about natural gas, but electricity too. Coal-burning electric power plants are a thing of the past in New York, supposedly replaced by wind turbines. We are learning now the huge propellers aren’t making near enough megawatts. Solar panels are in their infancy and not yet mainstream enough to make a dent in our energy needs. The type of facility that is generating enough electric power is the nuclear power plants around the state. Woefully, Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City is being forced to close by 2021 with no real plan to replace the electricity generated by that 2000 megawatt facility.

Erecting wind turbines, like the ones we see on the horizon in Madison County, is the new battleground. Small towns don’t want these forced down their throats and they are enacting laws prohibiting them. There have been ideas to put the turbines off-shore in the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Ontario which brings out a whole different crowd of green protesters against the whirligigs.

All of this political grandstanding in the race to the left is going to have consequences in the future. We are nearing energy starvation with no viable way to replace the soon-to-be-outlawed sources of power. Metropolitan New Yorkers may someday experience rolling blackouts and ‘cold days’ because of rationing of natural gas and then no one will be happy, particularly voters.

A well-deserved pat on the back to Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields for keeping everyone safe before, during and after Sunday’s Super Bowl. Chief Shields is a former Morris resident and graduate of Unatego High School. Well done, Chief!

As was reported earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo intends to take full advantage of a far-left, Democrat-controlled state legislature, in order to pass a permanent (for all time) ban on fracking (see NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wants to Make Frack Ban Permanent). New York’s largest landowner rights group, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, has just issued a statement warning Cuomo not to pass such a ban.

 

Here’s the statement MDN received yesterday:

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York issued the following press release in response to Governor Cuomo’s proposed permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing:

Dan Fitzsimmons, President of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York said:

It would be unwise for Governor Cuomo to hamstring future administrations that will be called upon to make energy decisions for New York. It is impossible to predict the long term energy future of this State, changing energy needs and emerging technologies. There will be innovations in energy that have not yet been imagined. New York should take appropriate actions to promote clean air and clean water through all available technologies and resources. But, it would be a mistake to limit our future energy options with a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing.

We must ensure that our State and Nation’s electricity is affordable, reliable, safe, secure and clean and that it can be produced from all domestic sources, including renewable sources. Governor Cuomo, please do not jeopardize our long term energy future.

About The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York

The mission of The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) is to foster, promote, advance and protect the common interest of the people as it pertains to natural gas development though education and best environmental practices. JLCNY gathers and provides factual, objective information about safe and responsible natural gas development to landowners and community members.*

We know Dan Fitzsimmons–a great guy. He makes a common-sense point–that you can’t tie the hands of all future generations because of your own twisted views today. But that’s *exactly* what Cuomo wants and intends to do.

Cuomo knows he won’t be the dictator of NY forever. Someday there will be a Republican governor who can unilaterally lift the frack ban in the same way Cuomo unilaterally imposed it. That is, unless there’s a law on the books that no future legislature will ever be able to overturn. That’s Cuomo’s point. That’s how dictators behave–like dictators!

Dictators like Cuomo don’t think rationally or clearly. Again, Dan makes a great point: Who knows what future technologies will roll around? What if there is a way to extract natural gas, and burn it, without letting a single molecule of methane escape into the atmosphere and with zero carbon dioxide emissions? What then? In that case, you’ve eliminated the very reasons Cuomo and his Big Green puppetmasters spew for opposing natural gas and banning fracking.

We’ve always maintained the anti-frackers do not engage in a rational debate, but in an irrational, power-hungry, political debate.

As Dan says, if a frack ban passes, it jeopardizes NY’s energy future.

*Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (email received Jan 23, 2020) – Subject: JLCNY Opposes Permanent Hydraulic Fracturing Ban in New York

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