Pulteney Rejects Wastewater and Winner Keeps Digging

Today's Corning Leader has two interesting fracking-related stories.

The first, more important one, covers yesterday's Pulteney Town Board meeting. At that meeting, the board laid the groundwork for a resolution for a moratorium on wastewater storage, and they voted to send a letter to Chesapeake Energy asking them to withdraw their application to store wastewater in a Pulteney well. The story contains this quote from Town Supervisor Bill Weber:

“It is very clear, from all my discussions with the board, and my own conscience, I can’t, in fact, I have yet to find anyone who supports this project,” Weber said, his voice choked with emotion.

The second, comical story concerns George Winner. Winner, who did not attend Sunday's meeting in Pulteney, yesterday accused Eric Massa of hiding the contents of a letter from the standing-room-only crowd there. After Massa and a number of meeting attendees pointed out that Massa distributed 250 copies of the letter at the meeting, Winner now says that Massa was wrong because he didn't distribute enough copies of that letter to the crowd.

What's next from Winner? A complaint about the color of Eric Massa's tie? Perhaps there was a spot on the car that Massa drove to the meeting.

Winner's response is all the more interesting because he agrees with Massa on the fundamental issue: he opposes the storage of waste water in the abandoned gas well in Pulteney. I don't know if this is a new position on Winner's part, since there wasn't a word about his opposition in yesterday's Leader story.

Maybe if Winner had just showed up at the biggest political event in the history of one of the towns he represents, he'd look like a leader rather than an ill-informed Monday morning quarterback.


Senator Winner is a LEADER. He is leading the charge for letting Chesapeake have it their way .

The LEADER is the newspaper. Winner is a loser.

First, judging from the makeup of the panel I imagine Winner wasn't invited to participate. This event had a specific agenda and I'm willing to bet they didn't want Winner to be apart of it. Second, Winner got his point across by calling out Massa. Now, everyone paying attention knows that Chesapeake is no longer actively pursuing the use of the old well. One watching Massa's interview at the the meeting likely would not have taken that away considering he was talking about standing in front of the trucks to stop them if need be. He's a blow hard and someone needed to call him out -- I'm glad Winner did!

Let's examine that term, "blow hard". One of the characteristics of a "blow hard", perhaps even the defining characteristic, is making false, inflammatory accusations about stuff you don't know much about. By that reasonable standard, Winner's the "blow hard" here -- he accused Massa of misleading attendees of a meeting he didn't attend, and when confronted with his error, he chooses to continue blowing hot air instead of just shutting up.

Also, what's the point of Winner's bitching and moaning about trivia if he agrees with Massa? Anyone "paying attention" might think that Winner's late declaration of opposition to Chesapeake, which first surfaced in today's Leader, is evidence of Winner's obviously feeble political senses finally coming on line. When the Town Supervisor can't find a single person who supports Chesapeake Energy, it's clear that this issue is a complete loser. Winner finally got the message, many weeks after Massa was leading on the issue.

(Also, you're wrong about Chesapeake not "actively pursuing" the well. That will be true as soon as they withdraw their application to use it.)

Massa is obfuscating facts about the Marcellus drilling in general and saying that it is dangerous without being able to point to any evidence to support his claims. He cites examples in Dimock, PA among others but these are not relevant and, in my opinion, only serve to incite fear and create opposition to a great economic opportunity for the Southern Tier.

Seems pretty relevant that a spill from a fracking operation at a natural gas well contaminated a local stream in Dimock, PA. And this, too, seems relevant:

The incident is the latest in a series of environmental problems connected to Cabot’s drilling in the Dimock area. Last winter, drinking water in several area homes was found to contain metals and methane gas that state officials determined leaked underground from Cabot wells. And in the spring, the company was fined for several other spills, including an 800-gallon diesel spill from a truck that overturned.


Nothing to be worried about there, you say? It's obvious that the short-term, fleeting economic opportunity of storing toxic water in a well one mile from Keuka Lake trumps the long-term, sustainable and established economic reality of the world-renowned Finger Lakes wine industry? Sorry, don't think that's obvious.

Even if Senator Winner and Assemblyman Bacalles were not invited to participate on the panel, they missed a golden opportunity to show their constituents that they are concerned about the issue and that they want to stay informed and are open to new information. Given the positions they hold, they would have been recognized and offered the option to speak, much like the individual who had gas industry experience, who spoke at the very beginning of the meeting. Most of all, they missed the opportunity to "press the flesh" with voters they will need in November.

"This event had a specific agenda" ..... Yes it did... and that was to protect the Keuka watershed and the health of the people who live there.

No, the panel was made of many individuals who are unequivocally opposed to drilling in the Marcellus Shale and that, I believe, is the underlying agenda here. They all knew ahead of time that Chesapeake wasn't going to move forward with the permit but they still held this inflammatory meeting to incite fear about drilling with their unsubstantiated claims.

It is not a fact that Chesapeake is not moving forward with the permit. They specifically said in the letter that it's "premature" for them to pull the permit. You can see that in a quote from the letter here:


And, the flyer for the meeting, which I published, says nothing whatsoever about drilling in the Marcellus Shale. It is completely focused on one issue, the disposal of wastewater in Pulteney:


You could at least read the blog you're commenting on before you post a comment full of falsehoods.

Font. I think the wedge issue Winner needs to tackle next is the font choice for the fliers. Everyone knows that serifed fonts cause eye strain that often causes people to stop reading sooner than the same text in sans-serif. Massa was clearly trying to hide the truth in plain-yet-strainy sight with the Times New Roman font he chose.

Yes, there's a whole new frontier of eyestrain-related issues that Winner has yet to explore.

From what I know of typography, you have that backwards. :)

George--who I remember Randy, years ago, complimenting in the press as "one smart fellow" (and traditionally I would agree without question)--has really taken--or made for himself--a pratfall here. Tone-deaf re: threats to magnificient Keuka Lake, not t o mention our wine industry and tourism which accompanies? If I was younger, with the connections and the dollars, I would primary him.