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Reed gets hydrofracking resistance in Dundee

    DUNDEE—United States Representative Tom Reed (R-Corning) visited Dundee Saturday, Oct. 29 and was met by residents who have questions and problems with hydrofracking.
    Resident Alan Giles asked Reed for his position on hydrofracking and his reasons for it. Reed said the reports he has read indicate there is no hydrofracking fluid in any of the aquifers near current wells. Thirty-seven wells were tested for the report Reed referred to. Asked how many wells there are in Pennsylvania, Reed said there are 4,000. Reed said there is science and data based information to let people come to their own conclusions. Reed said he would like to identify problems and solve them. He said he thinks the state Department of Environmental Conservation should take a hard look at the issue.
    Reed was asked what the benefit of hydrofracking is within New York State. He maintained it is an economic benefit, not only for the gas but secondarily for servicing the industry. Reed said an indirect benefit is stabilization of utility rates for 40, 50 or even 60 years. Reed maintained it will go a long way to stem what is driving industry overseas. He said the wage differential is becoming tighter. Reed said, “If we can have long term, stable utility rates it will encourage business.”
    Resident David Allardice said, “We can debate and rehash this. Isn’t natural gas a commodity? Gas could turn up in China or Russia. I think there is a problem with the benefits to New York State.”  Allardice also maintained 85 percent of employment connected to hydrofracking would come from out of state. Reed responded, “We are working to change that.” Training is becoming more available for local workers.
    Steve Knapp said the Finger Lakes should get the same protection as the Syracuse and New York City watersheds. Knapp said he wants Reed to work for protection of the Finger Lakes watershed and to advocate for the area. Knapp said, “I don’t believe fracking is compatible with what we have here. I am afraid fracking will disrupt it. There will be short term gain for long term problems.”
    Retired Yates County Emergency Management Director Glen Miller said his concern is the exact nature of the chemicals being used. He said the gas companies have exemptions on disclosure because it is proprietary information. Miller said, “They need to follow the same regulations on disclosure as everyone else.” Reed said proposed regulations would have that requirement. The only problem would be the formula. Miller said disclosures have been signed by local businesses in the past, adding, “Something will go wrong. We have to keep people safe.”
    Reed spoke about entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Reed said transparency is needed. A member of the audience disagreed with Reed’s comment that Social Security is an entitlement. Reed said 10,000 people per day now quality for Social Security. He said, “Anything we are supporting would not affect current recipients.”
    At the beginning of the meeting, Reed said the number one issue is the economy and how to get it going. He outlined some of his proposals for that goal.
    At the conclusion of the meeting, Reed assured the audience that contacts to his office would be responded to in a timely manner.



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