Recently, March 19, the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce held their annual economic forum, disseminating information to members only, about industrializing Marcellus Shale for natural gas. 

Recently, March 19, the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce held their annual economic forum, disseminating information to members only, about industrializing Marcellus Shale for natural gas.  The forum, moderated by Chemung County Executive Thomas Santulli, featured two gas industry executives and two academic speakers who were not comprehensive enough. This forum did not connect the dots between infrastructure changes and economics. It was a missed opportunity. There are dangerous environmental implications, with far broader economic impacts, that were not discussed. Economics are intertwined with and inseparable from other issues that weave together the fabric of life here in the Finger Lakes and Chemung County. The forum failed by skirting the risks.
While Mr. Santulli was quoted, “We’re not here to sell anything,” the make-up of the forum panel and Mr. Santulli’s further comments that this industry can result in our area being “reborn” tell a different story.  We are anxious for more regional jobs, but a one-sided presentation of an overly optimistic (perhaps unrealistic) economic viewpoint is a disservice.  We need complete, hard fact assurances - not just a rosy economic view.
Water contamination would ruin any economy. We deserve nothing less and our children deserve the brightest of futures.

Dave Walczak
Bath