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August 22, 2013

President Obama's New York Tour - Spotlight on Fracking

President Obama kicks off his two-day bus tour of upstate New York and northeastern Pennsylvania today to address higher education.  However, natural gas advocates and opponents hope to address another key issue -- fracking -- promising to make tomorrow's leg of Obama's tour even more interesting when the President will start in Binghamton (the believed sweet spot for Marcellus shale in New York) and then head to Scranton, Pennsylvania, passing through regions of Pennsylvania actively being drilled for Marcellus shale. Anti-fracking protesters have promised to follow the President from stop to stop along his tour, with a key focus on his Binghamton stop.  The Joint Landowners Coalition will also gather on Friday in a nearby park in Binghamton, not to protest or picket Obama, but rather to join together for a pro-drilling rally and picnic. The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York (IOGANY) also has issued a press release in recognition of the President's tour (see also attached IOGANY postcard):
“The President’s visit to New York’s Southern Tier and Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier will punctuate the economic disparity between the two regions – one of which is thriving with natural gas development under a sensible regulatory structure – and the other, in New York, whose economy is withering under political uncertainty. "We ask Governor Cuomo to get on board with the president and America’s energy revolution, and allow for safe natural gas exploration in New York.”
One hopes that the pro-drilling messages are heard during Obama's tour, specifically IOGANY's message urging New York to "get on board."  A five plus year moratorium is too long.  The science supports moving forward.  Moreover, shale development needs to move forward without delay so that New Yorkers, particularly those in the Southern Tier, can begin to reap the benefits of natural gas exploration that are being seen throughout Pennsylvania.

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