Those who support the North Fork drilling often label those who don't support North Fork Drilling as NIMBYs (Not In My Backyard), even implying that due to our national energy crisis that being against North Fork drilling is unpatriotic and job killing. Is this really true? Is it as simple as that? Of course not!
I think that a reasonable approach to the question of drilling is to understand that there will be areas where drilling can be done and areas where it should not be done. For example, the city of Pittsburgh, Pa., sits on the very rich Marcellus Shale. The gas companies wanted to drill right in the city. When citizens objected, the advocates for the gas drilling used the NIMBY label and jobs issue to characterize those who did not want drilling to occur. However, rational and reasonable people said that the air pollution, the truck traffic, and the industrialization of city neighborhoods would not be in the long term interests of the citizenry. In fact, Pittsburgh has now banned gas drilling within the city limits.
It is not in the long term interests of the North Fork Valley to allow drilling in close proximity to each of the three small towns of the valley. Fracking is controversial, but everyone agrees that the dramatically increased air pollution, inevitable surface drilling fluid spills, loss of dark skies, and massive truck traffic could change the area forever.
In my opinion, it is un-American to allow one industry (the gas industry) to supplant and ruin another industry (organic wineries, small businesses, retirees, organic farmers) all in the interests of a rush to drill. The short term gas drilling jobs are simply not as important as the long term jobs that are currently in place through farmers and small business owners. It is patriotic to defend one's home against threats to the local economy, and environment. The shallow use of the NIMBY label is offensive. I intend to do everything I can legally do to stop this insane drilling proposal.
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