Bacalles (reluctantly) On the Record

Reader qka (not to be confused with reader "keuka") sends Assemblyman Jim Bacalles' response to qka's constituent letter. Qka asked if Bacalles would support a bill to extend the protections given New York City's water supply to the rest of the state. Bacalles' response, which addresses the Pulteney disposal site rather than the broader question, is attached after the break.

I've only seen Bacalles in action once, at the 2006 League of Women Voters debate. He clearly took his lead from George Winner at that event, and he tends to keep a low media profile. For example, today's Corning Leader story on Chesapeake only quotes George Winner and Eric Massa.

Here's the letter:

February 12, 2010

I'm writing in response to your communication expressing concerns about Chesapeake Energy's application to utilize one of its spent gas wells in Pulteney to dispose of hydrofracking wastewater drilling. [sic] I want to go on record as adamantly opposing this application. It is also my understanding that Chesapeake Energy has decided not to pursue this permit application.

As a legislator and Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee member, I've been involved in the natural gas development issue for some time. I have been and will remain in direct contact with the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner, Pete Grannis, together with other top DEC officials throughout the regulatory efforts being undertaken regarding the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry. I expect the DEC's proposed regulations will integrate, or at least adequately address, the environmentally-sensitive issues related to gas drilling and wastewater disposal.

No one, including me, wants to risk environmental damage, particularly to our watersheds, our agricultural region, our infrastructure or our tourist and wine industry. It's because of the DEC's careful regulatory process that gas drillers in New York have compiled such a good environmental record. And, we want to keep it that way. New York's record in this area is better than any other state in the country.

James G. Bacalles
Member of Assembly


I would not stake much claim in the words of Mr Bacalles as he says one thing and does another. He has many little "addictions" that oppose his voting record and his public claims.

I wish someone out there would run against Mr. Bacalles.