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Delaware town board’s record on fracking

March 13, 2013

Every step our Delaware Town Board has taken regarding fracking has been pro fracking.

First, they declared “neutrality.” But when a citizen requested a resolution from the board in favor of New York Senate bills that introduced strict liability to the fracking process (to compensate for possible damage), they declined. On the subject of property rights, the board took the view that individual property rights trump common rights. When the governor declared that fracking would be limited to towns that weren’t against it, a resolution favoring fracking (in language written by the gas industry) was passed by the board.

The planning board, with the aid of its advisor, Tom Shepstone, a paid gas industry representative, proposed regulations regarding a compressor station that in effect was an invitation to locate one in our town (on property owned by whom?). Most recently, the board has taken the position that whether fracking should be welcome in Delaware—or not—is too technical an issue for them to decide, therefore choosing to forfeit its home-rule rights. The still-operating commission appointed by the board to study fracking was not even mentioned in that resolution, thus leaving the decision to the “experts”—from the gas industry.

I don’t know whom they are trying to kid. But I will be shocked (if and when fracking comes to Delaware) if several of our boards’ members don’t sign leases, something they have a right to do. Intent is not a “technical” conflict of interest.

Roy Tedoff
Hortonville, NY