Hundreds of supporters of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas protested Monday in a Binghamton hotel, calling out Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration for its decision to ban the technique.
Colesville resident Steve Stoddard said he’s seen the economic benefits that come with high-volume hydrofracking first-hand, in his job as a truck driver supplying drilling and pipeline operations in Pennsylvania.
That makes the recent decision to ban hydrofracking in New York like “a slap in my face from the governor,” he said.
“I’ve been back [from the Navy]18 years, and all I’ve gotten is one headache right after another from the government in the state,” said Stoddard, a member of Teamsters Local 317. “The taxes keep going up and the jobs keep going out.”
Stoddard was among more than 200 pro-drilling advocates who gathered Monday at the Holiday Inn Binghamton to protest the state’s drilling ban.
The rally, organized by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, drew speakers from labor unions, landowners and area politicians. They accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration of ignoring the science and economic plight of upstate New York.
Stoddard said he worked 14-hour days for three months on a directional drilling operation in Wysox, Pa., two years ago. On that job, he said, he saw businesses stay open 24 hours because of demand, and convenience stores staffed with eight or nine employees, even during off hours.
“We need work here,” Stoddard said. “I’ve watched this area continually degrade until people call this Doom County, because everything that comes here, dies.”
You can read Roby’s full report over at Pressconnects.
(Photo by John R. Roby/Press & Sun-Bulletin)