February 15, 2013

Boundary plays

Fracking politics keeps reminding me of the boundary between New York and Pennsylvania. My brother and I were both born in Pennsylvania, but grew up just north of the border in Corning. Why were we born in Pennsylvania? Because my father worked for Corning, and they had factories in Pennsylvania.

In many ways, the Southern Tier is well-connected to Pennsylvania, through its rivers, through sharing its hills, and through people moving across the borders for work or for home. It has New York connections as well - after all, that's what the Erie Railroad was for - but there are definitely strong connections to Pennsylvania.

In the past week, I saw two pieces that reminded me that it all could be different. First up was a piece from Energy in Depth Northeast Marcellus, Southern Tier Treatment as Sacrifice Zone Leads to Secession Petition, in which those frustrated by New York State's delays wanted to shift to Pennsylvania. Why?

We are tired of the influence New York City has over the entire state. Brain damaged animals from that concrete sewer dictate our direction.

We are tired of being told we need them to survive. We have shale gas - we will be just fine without them.

I'm good with statehood or Pennsylvania annexation, just get me away from Ithaca and New York City.

The other was a new exercise in the fantasy of redrawing state boundaries. I'm not certain, but I think Tompkins County may be the southern boundary of Adirondack, while Corning, Elmira, Binghamton, and maybe Cortland go to Pocono.

I don't think any of these changes are likely, but it is occasionally worth remembering that the current boundaries have little natural or demographic foundation.

Posted by simon at February 15, 2013 5:43 PM in
Note on photos