I was astonished to hear Highland councilman Fred
Bosch read a statement on the town’s proposed gas drilling law at the May 4 public hearing. I’ve attended many hearings, including as secretary of the Highland Planning Board in the ‘80s, and I’ve never heard a board member at a hearing give his own opinion—which is supposed to be influenced by what the public has to say.
Was Bosch speaking as a member of the town board? As a private citizen? A large landholder?
Who does he represent? He begins and ends his letter saying fracking is not safe, yet nitpicks the law that will protect the town from this danger—all without offering an alternative.
But what really gets me is his statement that “the real culprits” are not gas companies but homeowners—his neighbors, constituents, and taxpayers. He believes it’s the “subdivisions and suburban sprawl” that are causing “negative impacts” to farms, soil, open space, views, and recreation. Then he lists the great things gas companies will do for us, like something right out of their brochures.
It’s also not clear from his comments whether he has a gas lease. He writes that in 2010, “I stated that I was opposed to fracking because it was not safe and I believed that I had the willpower to reject a $1 million offer to lease our land.” Was he offered a lease? Did he accept it?
If Mr. Bosch acknowledges the danger of hydrofracking, but then blocks the path to safety without offering an alternative, he is acting in bad faith. What would you think of a firefighter who sees a blaze approaching, but sits on his hands, or worse, carps at those trying to help? I hope I’m wrong. Mr. Bosch, tell us your plan.