This article was written by Leslie Danks Burke of Ithaca. She is an attorney, and sits on the Agriculture subcommittee of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council.
Many upstate farmers know that New York’s fracking ban protects agricultural livelihood. Staying in the farming business means keeping gas companies out of vineyards, crop rows, and livestock grazing areas.
Of course, some landowners bought into the gas companies’ false promises of opportunity. But the low odds of a few striking it rich through horizontal gas leases don’t outweigh the huge costs. I’ve seen what’s happened to my parents’ farm in a fracking state. Trees are dying, water is running out, and jobs are drying up.
Congressman Reed pretends to keep the fantasy alive through his so-called “Defense of Property Rights Act.” Mr. Reed wants to force all of us to make entitlement payments to the few landowners who hoped to strike it rich. Not only is his proposed law unconstitutional, but it would raise taxes and expand government – the very opposite of what he says he supports. We can’t afford that and he should know better.
Mr. Reed has announced a Town Hall at the Big Flats Community Center Tuesday, May 26, 5:30 pm, to promote his plan. We can show up to support our farmers and our agricultural heritage, and speak out against this unfair, one-sided handout.