Pro-Fracking Ad Campaign Focuses on Local Voices
10/2/2012 (Updated 7:49:22 PM)(Source: Jason Weinstein)
"Despite the claims of celebrities who don't even live here, I've seen first-hand how shale gas can bring jobs, investment, and hope to a struggling region. And we don't want to sacrifice our environment," said a voice from a radio commercial...
This is part of one of the radio ads you may be hearing later this week. A group of pro-gas interests produced the campaign featuring local voices touting what they call the benefits of gas drilling - and decrying anti-gas celebrities like actor Mark Ruffalo who have weighed in on the issue.
"These people are funding the people who are against gas drilling in New York State. So they may be a minority in number. But they have the dollars to back the people who are fighting this," said Dave Johnson, President of the Broome County Farm Bureau.
Dave Johnson owns Apple Hills Farm in the Town of Chenango, and is President of the Broome County Farm Bureau. He isn't currently under a gas lease but would lease his 300 acres if New York's moratorium on fracking was lifted.
"I consider gas another crop. I grow crops on the surface. To me gas is the crop underneath," said Johnson.
While the ad campaign stresses the interests of local landowners, some in favor of the fracking moratorium say the ads don't represent all local landowners.
"Most of the landowners have small acreage. Most of their equity is in their homes. They won't get much out of this gas drilling, and (they'll) see a real depreciation in their homes," said Chris Burger of the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition.
The ad campaign coincides with increasing pro-gas frustration with further delays from Albany leaders who have yet to release regulations that would allow fracking.
The latest delay being the Department of Environmental Conservation enlisting the state Department of Health to assess public-health impacts of fracking.
"Most people I've talked to want the science to decide if we go ahead with gas drilling for a good, long time," said Burger.
"If they want to do the research, fine. But don't just use it as a delaying tactic to please the people who don't want gas," said Johnson.
****In the Town of Chenango, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News.****
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