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Reed hears fracking, alternative energy concerns

    WAYNE—Hydrofracking and alternative sources of energy were two recurring topics the public talked about with Congressman Tom Reed at the Wayne town hall, Saturday, March 3.
    Resident Amy Raab spoke to Reed and nearly 15 people in the public about protecting the Finger Lakes watershed from drilling for Marcellus Shale. She said the Finger Lakes should be included in the state’s proposed ban on drilling in the Syracuse and New York City watersheds.
    “Thousands drink the water from here,” she said.
Raab added there are many homes along the lakes. She said because of the wineries in the area as well, this is a big tourist destination.
    Resident Julie Vargo explained she is moving here from Texas after years of spending just the summers on Keuka Lake. She said she has seen what has happened because of drilling for Barnett Shale in Texas. Vargo added that there aren’t large sources of water in Texas like there are in the Finger Lakes.
    Reed said he believes the individual states should handle if and how fracking happens. He said it is a 10th Amendment issue. Reed added he would pass the comments on to New York state representatives Tom O’Mara and Phil Palmesano. He added concerns about the dangers of fracking were why the Marcellus Shale caucus was created, which Reed is a part of.
    Resident Joe Sevier asked about ending the U.S.’s dependency on foreign oil, adding gas prices are up and “people are struggling.” Reed said that ties into the previous comments on the potential hazards of fracking. He added he believes the answer is a mix of using our own resources and developing a long-term focus on alternative energy. Reed also said short term mandates do not work.
    Other topics covered included the foreign relationships with China and the budget. Resident Dennis Carlson asked why the U.S. doesn’t do something if China is manipulating the currency. Reed said it is not as simple as stopping trade with China. He added this is also way he supports trade agreements with countries that benefit the U.S., like South Korea.
    In addressing the budget and tax reform, Reed said they need to focus on complete tax reform. He said there needs to be tax changed that directly affect the structure of U.S. spending.
    Reed also pointed out if the rate on interest the U.S. owes were to increase to seven percent, there would be an additional $700 billion that need to be budgeted. He asked, “where would it come from?” Reed pointed out that the defense portion of the U.S. budget is $703 billion and social security is $726 billion.




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