22 supervisors of the towns that have passed “frack us quick” resolutions (none of which were done with a public hearing, much less referendum) have signed a letter – written by a shale shill – to Governor Cuomo, copy here, to in effect ask him to hurry up and let their towns get fracked – without the necessary safeguards of local road use ordinances or land use ordinances in place – that they, as elected officials, have a responsibility to adopt and enforce. Failure to do so is at best negligent on their part. Writing a letter to be put on a frack list without such protections is likely misfeasance of duty, since they are publicly acknowledging that their town is unprepared and that they intend to keep it in a state of unpreparedness. That’s grossly irresponsible. That’s turning Vichy on fracking.
Dereliction of duty. Town Supervisors are empowered to protect the town’s roads, people and water supplies. They have an obligation to do that first and foremost. If they do not have a road use ordinance in place, they are not protecting the town’s roads by signing this letter. The DEC cannot protect any roads in the state – not county, not town, not state roads. No roads are protected by the DEC.
The supervisors are putting the town’s roads at risk by asking that their town be fracked without a road use ordinance in place. That’s negligence.
If the Town Board passes a resolution that says “frack here first, we have no road use ordinance to protect the town” they should held accountable for their actions. They should be sued.
Land use ordinances apply to gas wells. So elected officials, have an obligation to do so: apply land use ordinances to gas wells – not willfully ignore the fact that they can do that. The DEC does not protect individual houses and water supplies. The DEC’s token gas well setbacks are the worst in the US. They protect no land use. That is the town’s job. That is the Town Supervisor’s job. If the Town Board does not, they have shirked their duty, they have shirked their responsibility.
They have not done what they can – under state law – to protect the housing stock and water supplies in their town. The Board should be removed or sued for negligence.
All of these supervisors should be removed from office. Because they are doing the voters a disservice by not protecting their towns – as is their obligation – from the negative impacts of shale gas industrialization in their town – most of which the town and only the town can adequately address. The DEC regulates how a well is drilled. Towns regulate where wells can be drilled.
The premise of their letter is that fracking should be allowed in their town before the town has put local safeguards in place. There is no fracking rush to explore for shale gas in New York. Particularly in towns that have no road use or land use ordinances in place. The Governor knows this. The DEC knows this. No point in the Supervisors in pretending otherwise as a justification for their dereliction of duty or as an excuse to sell their town out to frackers: No fracking rush in New York
Why did they adopt these “frack us” resolutions without a public hearing ? Or a road use ordinance ? Or a land use ordinance ? Maybe because they have leased to a driller. Maybe they are in cahoots with a leasing group. Or maybe because they are just too fracking lazy – it’s easier to sign a letter to Cuomo than to actually do anything to protect the town. Whatever the reason, they, and the Board that supported them should be fracked out of office if they failed to the following before signing this “frack us now” letter:
A. Adopt a town road use ordinance
B. Adopt a town land use ordinance that addresses shale gas industrialization.
If no A.) and no B.) then they should be fracked out of a job. At the next available opportunity.