Two months ago, we considered a similar resolution, with essentially the same “Now Let It Be Resolved”s, but it was extremely long and combative, filled with facts and opinions regarding pipelines and natural gas, and included a page of footnotes. It was the same resolution which earlier had been passed by the Oneonta Town Board. Unsurprisingly, the resolution failed at SWEC along party lines.WHEREAS One of the primary responsibilities of the Otsego County Board of Representatives is to assure the health and safety of all residents of our County; andWHEREAS: Although the various Representatives have diverging opinions regarding the role that methane gas should play in the energy future of Otsego County and New York State, we all agree that no currently existing, or future project(s), energy or otherwise, in or near Otsego County should pose a threat to the health or safety of our citizens,NOW LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Otsego County Board of Representatives requests New York State to perform a full and comprehensive assessment regarding the health and environmental risks that are associated with natural gas pipelines, or any other type of large-scale energy infrastructure, prior to permitting the construction of said infrastructure.NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED further, that the Clerk of the Otsego County Board of Representatives send copies to Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner, New York State Department of Health Commissioner, Senator James Seward, Assemblyman William Magee, Assemblyman Peter Lopez, Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, and Commissioners Tony Clark and Cheryl Lafleur of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Along with Andrew Marietta, the other Democrat on the committee, I acknowledged the contentious nature of the wording. I offered to rewrite the resolution so it was, clearly and simply, about health and safety, and not about hydrocarbon politics. Yesterday's resolution was the result.
The vote yesterday was the same: a party-line defeat. It seems that the politics of this issue are so deeply rooted that we cannot be in favor of health and safety if it involves carbon-based energy. Where does this fear come from?