Below you will find a LTE published in Hometown Oneonta last Thursday. Also, at this time of year, the UALA endorses candidates that support gas development. The UALA is non-partisan and single issue -- we favor gas develpment. Recently we've included news about the closing of Otego Elementary because many UALA members live elsewhere and appreciate the news. Also, the school's closing is a direct result of economic conditions in Upstate New York. Governor Cuomo is largely to blame for those conditions. He has essentially banned gas.
Therefore, the following endorsement: the Republican candidates for state and federal legislative offices and for the governorship support gas development/pipeline infrastructure. The Democrats candidates don't. It's as simple as that! Please get out and vote.
In Thursday's Hometown Oneonta:
The Gas Wars continued in the October 5th's Hometown Oneonta with several dueling op eds and letters to the editor. Patricia Jacobs opined that Oneonta grew without natural gas. On the other hand, Roger Colazzo remembered an Oneonta that welcomed gas. At a recent meeting on the proposed decompression station, the only arguments he heard from the antis were emotional ones without rational solutions. He asked for data to support alternatives to gas that would heat buildings that need constant, on-demand energy.
Adrian Kuzminsky argued that natural gas is unnecessary for the economy he (Kuzminsky) envisions -- a broadband world of the future. He feels investments in a gas infrasturcture drain the taxpayer and are uneconomical for businesses dependent on gas. Those businesses should go where the gas is -- "elsewhere."
My thesis was, "Economic growth and JOBS that retain young families depend on affordable energy." Governor Cuomo's renewable energy plan leads to rates similar to California, Germany, and South Australia's. Their rates are triple ours. If we can't attract industry now due to high rates, wait until the Guv's plan kick in. Welcome to the High Lonesome.
Here's the deal. One million people have packed up and left New York for other states since Governor Cuomo's inaugeration. That rate is accelerating. An article in the October 5th's Weekend Star cites a study that shows local school enrollments are plummeting. In fact, several local schools are among the fastest enrollment drops statewide; five within the Top 20, eight within the Top 50. School administrators blame a lack of industry for their empty classrooms.
The young with families leave because jobs and opportunities are elsewhere. Others leave because of taxes and the high cost of living. The companies that provide jobs aren't relocating here because high taxes, over regulation, and high overhead, with energy costs a major factor.
Mandated, subsidized, prioritized renewables will drive up the cost of energy, choke development, and limit job creation.
Jody Zakrevski, the Director of our industrial development agency (IDA), Otsego Now, was right. The 475 jobs recently lost due to a lack of abundant, affordable energy (ie., gas) shouldn't be looked at in a singuular sense but in the plural. Those jobs represent FAMILIES (Mom, Dad, the kids) lost to Otsego County. Zakrevski's predecessor at Otsego Now also spoke of the necessity of gas. That's two for two from the professional economic development ranks. Maybe they know something?
Finally, regarding Adrian Kusminsky's bridge to the future via countywide broadband -- it's going to happen . . . about 100 miles southwest of us in Bradford county, Pennsylvania in the heart of the Marcellus Shale play. Bradford County's IDA, the Progress Authority, has as part of its mission a goal to balance out the cyclical nature of gas with a diversified business base, from agriculture to manufacturing to high tech. The key is broadband. To make this happen, they are in the process of setting up their own countywide broadband network. Several years in the planning and with several million dolars surplus in their treasury, they are now working with an engineering firm to suppliment "dark" fiber already in place with new towers, poles, fiber optic cable plants and switching stations, plus incorporating emergency networks and e-rate entities. The final project won't be cheap ($11.6 million) nor complete (the perenial "last mile" up the hollows) but it is a plausible plan.
Bradford County isn't waiting for a government handout, a grant cycle, a Hunger Games political gimme. They are not dependent on the indulgence of Spectrum or Time Warner. They are doing it themselves because they have a vibrant economy with customers waiting and money in the bank. They are doing it because they have gas.
That's reality. The exodus of young families from our towns and villages is a reality. "Elsewhere" is where Mr. Kuzminsky wants affordable energy-dependent industries to relocate. According to Mr. Zakrevsky, that's what they are doing. They are taking their businesses and jobs "elsewhere." That's what's happening in Otsego now, a county held in check by an "environmental" ideology that ignores reality, the laws of economics, and the common good.
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