In a front-page story in last Friday’s Sullivan County Democrat, Town of Callicoon Supervisor Tom Bose claimed that both he and the comprehensive plan recently adopted by the town board are neutral on the issue of fracking. This is simply not true. Mr. Bose isn’t neutral and neither is the plan.
This election-week ploy won’t fool anyone. Mr. Bose is on record imploring regulators to reconsider restrictive regulations so as not to eliminate the “opportunity” to frack, and the town’s new plan paves the way for horizontal hydraulic gas drilling (fracking). It encourages zoning changes that will promote high-impact industry, and “address new housing needs that could accompany potential new large-scale industrial uses;” that’s the plan’s way of describing “man camps” that are used to house out-of-state drilling workers. In fact, the plan incorporates an Agricultural Protection Plan that states the town must “ensure that zoning allows for the review and permitting of gas drilling to the full extent feasible under state laws and requirements.” That’s undoubtedly pro-fracking.
Residents understand that fracking will destroy the rural character of our town, which is vital to our residents’ and future residents’ well-being. Almost 500 residents spoke out against the plan, but their objections were not considered by the town board. Opposition to pro-fracking language in the plan was so intense that Sullivan County Planning took the unusual step of returning the plan to the town with a recommendation to remove the controversial language.
Tom Bose, Scott Gaebel and Charles Schadt all voted to adopt the comprehensive plan without changing a word. If fracking comes to our area, we cannot count on them to protect the town. Those of us who are concerned about the dangers posed by fracking will not vote for Misters Bose, Gaebel and Schadt on November 5.