New York State Fracking Ban Focus of WETM Report

Posted December 22, 2014

New York Fracking Ban Impacts Southern Tier Economy
By Hayden Ristevski, WETM 18 News, 12/18/14

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - The decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State will have a significant economic impact in Chemung County and the rest of the Southern Tier. 

"There's no region of this state that's impacted more negatively than the Southern Tier," Chemung County Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Keeley said.

Fracking would have given the Southern Tier the economic boost its been waiting for, but Governor Cuomo's decision to ban it has taken that hope away. Many were impacted when fracking began in Pennsylvania's Northern Tier. The transportation, hospitality, and retail industries all saw big boosts in our area. 

"We all saw that happening, and we didn't have much drilling going on here. This was just our benefit from the Northern Tier, put those drilling rigs in the county, and the impact is exponentially greater,"  Keeley said. 

Our region will also miss out on the many economic benefits that Pennsylvania has seen from fracking. George Miner, President of Southern Tier Economic Growth, says that our area's opportunity to see those types of results are gone. 

"You can look at Pennsylvania with lower taxes, lower energy costs, lower every type of cost, and that jobs have been created in that industry, that's what we could have had," Miner said. 

About 1000 jobs have already been created in our area alone as a result of fracking. Many businesses moved into our area with the expectation that fracking would become legal in New York. Now the hope is that they stay and continue to do business in Chemung County. 

"Hopefully they'll continue to stay here and do business here. Live here, go to our restaurants, and work here, and create jobs for local residents, but that's a business decision that they're going to have to make," Miner said.

Miner estimated that 2500 new jobs would have been created in our county if the Governor decided to allow fracking in New York. On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo acknowledged that the Southern Tier would see a significant economic loss, but said he couldn't choose between jobs and health.

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