Around 8 years ago or so I contacted Helen Marshall, Queens County Borough President. The poor woman already had encounters from me years earlier when I fought against urban sprawl in Astoria. And won. That was a story in and of itself.
Anyhow, this time the topic was gambling in Sullivan County. The operative question was, "Why should Queens care what goes on up there?"
"Because the clean water you drink is dependent upon it."
Very few New Yorkers realize their water supply's through a few reservoirs and tributaries that share similar underground springs. This should grab you by the scrotum: around 90% of NYC's water supply comes from the Catskill/Delaware system located in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Ulster and yes, Sullivan counties. In fact, NYC reservoirs are so clean, they are UNFILTERED. That didn't stop the politicos, though, from introducing a $1bn filtering system. Fuck knows why, but something tells me those kick-backs were breathtaking.
Moving along, proposed infrastructure for Sullivan County gambling, still in debate, is located only 15 miles from reservoirs that service NYC. Hey, it's 15 miles, right? Sigh. As far as environmentalists and savvy people know, just dump the pollutants in the water and call it a day.
As is the case with most development in Sullivan County, it hasn't come into fruition because it's in a quagmire of legal tape. Not from the state, mind you, among the companies and the deals they struck. Almost as convoluted as the ponzi schemes perpetrated by Kiryat Joel.
The purpose of writing this post is that I received ANOTHER anti-fracking email this morning, this time from a friend who listened to me going batshit crazy about this topic five years ago. When the topic reared its ugly head in Sullivan County, I went ballistic. Working at an energy company in 2000, I knew from analyzing drilling companies what that was all about. Had to do quite a bit of primary research. When I spoke to people left and right in my county, of course, they treated me like a lunatic.
You see, the drilling companies found there's gas in the Marcellus Shale which spreads from the Delaware River throughout Sullivan County. Oh, incidentally, there're underground streams there as well! And guess who drinks that water?!
Flash forward to three years ago, I'm no longer looking like a lunatic. Those same people now cross streets when they see me. I did attend two years ago a grass-roots anti-fracking social event and met with the heads of the coalition. This is what they told me:
"It's not a matter of 'if' fracking comes here, it's a matter of 'when'!"
I told them, "With that defeatist attitude, I don't want to deal with you!"
They're right in a way. Too much big bucks floating around from politicos to the farmers struggling to make a living. Hey, if I can make some money with no ramifications, hell yeah! But, sadly, that's not the way it goes.
Here's an excerpt from a local newspaper about my speech:
Bethel resident Maura Stone said she was an executive “for the highest-rated utility in the nation,” a company that was famously investigated and eventually brought to justice by environmental legal icon Erin Brockovich. In Stone’s former job, she said, “I made sure the energy company was not responsible for anything in every transaction they did.” She warned that doing business with the drilling companies could be financially risky. She said, “Beware of dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight.”
The long and the short of it is that my immediate vicinity will be exempt from fracking. The areas targeted are only 15 miles away.
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BTW: My pictorial book, Mostly Sunset, winner of the Bethel Corner Awards, contains mostly sunset photos in one location at Western Sullivan County. It may turn out nostalgic should fracking come this way.
Sold exclusively at: Mostly Sunset on Kindle
This blog and all the posts are a work of fiction. Names, character, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.