Oil & Gas Biz in Delaware County

A Gallery of Believe It Or Not

Our Delaware County Board of Supervisors has been taking care of business — and doing it their own way.

When they were offered presentations on gas drilling, our Supervisors heard one from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and one from the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York. They refused to hear one from their own residents – they refused repeatedly.

When IOGA-NY sent a letter to Albany in support of drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale, it was signed by many business groups that stood to profit. Our Supervisors signed on — the only town or county government to do so.

When residents took their protests about the lack of representation on gas drilling to the Delhi village square outside a scheduled meeting of the Board, our Supervisors abruptly canceled the meeting rather than talk with their constituents. Chairman Eisel claimed that the meeting was canceled due to a lack of business – an unprecedented excuse.

When New York City succeeded in getting from the State special protection from drilling pollution for their drinking water, our Supervisors demanded “reparations from the City and State for the mineral rights taken … of $81.3 billion to be paid over 60 years plus millions in real property tax revenues and lost employment opportunities;” or over $28,000 per year for each man, woman, and child living in Delaware County. (The Board was more likely to get the City to stock their reservoirs with mermaids.) Resolution No. 40 was passed by the votes of 12 out of 19 Supervisors – including Franklin Supervisor Don Smith.

When the controversial Constitution Pipeline was proposed, a letter was sent in the name of our Supervisors to become an intervener at the urging of Chairman Eisel and Commissioner of Watershed Affairs, Dean Frazier. This “motion to intervene” was premature, made months before the project was even filed with the federal government. This was a waste of the lawyer’s time and our money — not our usual county lawyer but Watershed’s high-priced Albany lawyer.

When it was revealed that the question of supporting the pipeline had never been brought before the Board, Resolution No. 149 to support that letter was filed on the usual short notice. This resolution was passed by votes 14 out of 19 Supervisors — weeks after the letter was sent

Elected officials have the obligation to collect the facts, listen to their voters, obey the rules, and act sensibly.