This past week has been an exercise in patience; specifically when dealing with folks who are still on the fringes of understanding what natural gas development entails in its entirety. I can’t even begin to count how many people have approached me with questions about the new “regulations” which I quickly explain are not regulations but permit conditions. Not sure that even helps with the comprehension; but I digress.
The most common complaint that I am hearing is the fact that the NYDEC had the audacity to release the sGEIS and actually claim that the development of natural gas can be done safely. This fact according to some of my accosters is just NOT possible. My response which is pretty much standard is to inquire if they have actually read the sGEIS. My favorite response so far is “What? Read 1096 pages? No Way! And anyway I hear it is flawed.” And the source of the information is usually a website dedicated to anti- natural gas development sentiment. Those particular conversations always end with some kind of statement related to “Water Equality.” “Why is our watershed not as important as NY City’s watershed?”
So, now I am wondering what the anti- natural gas development movement is about. We all know that this issue is politically motivated. Is it now cemented in the upstate versus downstate politics? Why are downstaters still fighting for “water equality” while downstate landowners in the NY City watershed are fighting for “gas equality”?
I am looking forward to hearing and seeing some of the local presenters who talk about how woefully inadequate the “regulations” are; all 1096 pages. I wonder if any of the local speakers will update their presentations to address the changes that have occurred since the last release of the sGEIS or will they keep passing the same rhetoric to people who do not have the time or interest to read the document for themselves.