October 15, 2011

Gas drilling politics, 2009

One of the stranger complaints I heard about the gas drilling ban was that "no one talked about this at the last election." Now, I recognize that not everyone made it to the Dryden Grange's Meet the Candidate event, but I had a fair number of people ask my opinion about the issue while I was running.

Here's nine minutes of audio from the Meet the Candidates event. None of us yet had heard about the court precedents that suggested towns could ban (but not otherwise regulate) operations the state insisted only it could regulate, so our proposals were weaker than they might otherwise have been.

Two candidates - Deb Shigley (R) for Town Board and Jim Crawford (R) for County Legislature - talked primarily about who was going to pay for oversight and wanted to make sure it wouldn't be the Town or the County. The rest of us - myself and Jason Leifer (D) for Town Board, Mike Lane (D) for County Legislature, and Steve Stelick (R) for Town Board - expressed much greater interest in regulating and controlling what was seen even then as a threat to the Town.

Both Deb and Jim came in last in their respective races. I also lost in the Town Board race, to Jason and Steve - both of whom voted for the ban. It was a fairly quiet election, and hydrofracking wasn't as critical an issue as it is today, but that's still pretty striking.

Posted by simon at October 15, 2011 11:25 PM in ,
Note on photos


Jason said:

This (the false claim that gas drilling hasn't been talked about by candidates or the Board) has been the most disappointing thing that I have heard from the GOP candidates this fall. We have been talking about this for 2+ years in both elections and at the Board and one of their 2011 candidates in particular, as you say above, actually answered questions on the matter at a 2009 candidate's forum.

Hilary Lambert said:

I know that the Dryden GOP was paying attention then in a way that is being played out this time around, because in 2009 Jim Crawford, when asked about his stance on gas drilling and fracking, replied that people's private property rights would have to be considered.
He was setting the stage for 2011 in which the GOP candidate for supervisor, Bruno Schickel (B.S. for short), spoke vociferously and publicly against the gas drilling zoning ordinance at the July town hearing on the basis that it was a frightening takeover of private land use rights, but now is trying to slide back into vague neutrality on the issue.

B.S., you can't have it both ways: You were for gas drilling and fracking before you conveniently lost your memory about your stance.

You hang out in public with the guys who are pushing this Anschutz lawsuit down the throats of Dryden residents, trying to overturn the zoning ordinance ban on gas drilling.

Man up, B.S.