Posts containing facts about the race in the 29th.

Leader Ed Board Story

Eric Massa met with the Corning Leader's editorial board, and Joe Dunning's story calls Massa a "maverick".

Ed Cox Wants to Frack

Reader Elmer sends today's Corning Leader [pdf] (and jump [pdf]) detailing New York Republican Party Chair Ed Cox's visit to Corning.

Cox thinks that hydrofracking is being held up by Democrats in Albany "more concerned about regulation" than economic development. He also characterizes Massa as a "Washington insider".

Last year, Massa was a carpetbagger. Now he's a Washington insider. Stay tuned for his next transmogrification.

More Drilling Info

Reader Don sends some more information on the hydrofracking wastewater disposal issue. This ProPublica feature details the difficulties drillers have had in disposing of wastewater via municipal treatment plants. Most town wastewater plants run near capacity, and those that don't aren't thrilled about running chemical brine through plants made for regular sewage.

Don also sends this Wall Street Journal article, which details how a Chesapeake Energy wastewater storage well may have caused a number of small earthquakes in the Dallas, Texas area. Chesapeake has applied to use a depleted gas well in Steuben County as a wastewater disposal well. The application [giant pdf] includes a map that shows that the proposed well site is very close to Keuka Lake. Don notes that the site is also on the Keuka wine trail.

All this shows, as if it weren't obvious already, that there are significant risks associated with hydrofracking and associated waste.

Story of the Week

The most interesting story of the week doesn't have Eric Massa's or Tom Reed's name in it. On Thursday, Steuben County town of Prattsburgh's town board voted against a new wind farm by a margin of 4-1.

After last Fall's election populated the board with members skeptical about wind power, the lame-duck board voted for wind power in a December, 2009 vote. The new board's vote reverses that action, and a state court judge declined the utility's request to make the old board's vote "stick".

So, here we have a Southern Tier town where some landowners could make a killing by offering land use to an energy company. That land use could lead to a short-term influx of money, with a possible long-term cost (in this case, making the hillsides ugly and causing noise). When this became an election issue, voters chose candidates who were more concerned over long-term environmental issues than short-term profit.

Unless I'm missing something about the details in the Prattsburgh election, it sure looks like an indicator that Eric Massa is on the right side of the hydrofracking issue.

Reed Says Frack

WENY reports that Tom Reed believes that "we're ready and ready to go" on Hydrofracking, the process of pressure-injecting a brine and chemical slurry to fracture rock in order to extract natural gas. The Southern Tier sits on huge reserves of gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale formation.

Last month, Eric Massa wrote an op-ed setting out his position on fracking. He thinks that the history of contamination in Pennsylvania, plus the lack of any wastewater treatment plan, calls for more regulation. He favors regulation similar to that already in place to protect New York City's water supply.

Both candidates agree that the state-mandated royalty rate of 12% is too low. Reed thinks that further negotiation will address that issue.

Cheney as Punching Bag

I was walking through Wegmans this evening and noticed that the Brighton-Pittsford post had this Massa/Cheney story on the top of the front page, with a big picture of Massa.

Massa's appearance on MSNBC's Ed Show, which I've included after the break, got a lot of attention in local and national blogs and political press, but I hadn't seen any local mention of it until today. Massa accused Cheney of suffering from "political Tourette's". Until the inevitable backlash from Tourette's suffers materializes, Massa seems to be getting some unexpected local mileage from his statement.

Cheney's poll numbers are so bad that most people wouldn't trust anything the guy has to say directly, save perhaps for his advice on picking a cardiologist. But many of his national security positions are still echoed in talking points used by a number of Republicans. It will be interesting to see if Massa goes further with this critique and links Cheney's positions to Reed's, which sometimes sound quite similar.

Hit "read more" for the video if you haven't seen it yet:

Another Chairman Visits

Eric Massa brought Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson to town. On Sunday, they met with some firefighters in Hornell. Yesterday, they visited Kennedy Valve, a manufacturing company in Elmira.

The Letter

Reader Elmer sends the text of the letter he received from Eric Massa explaining his healthcare vote. Text of the letter after the break:

You Remember Marcellus, Don't You?

Drilling the Marcellus Shale, which may contain the largest supply of natural gas in North America, was the topic of a meeting last night in Corning. Eric Massa's "strongly worded letter" was part of the meeting. The concern is that extracting gas from Marcellus requires huge amounts of water and toxic chemicals.

Financial Disclosures

Tim Kolpien of the Reed campaign was kind enough to send over Tom Reed's financial disclosure report [pdf]. And, courtesy of Open Secrets, here's Eric Massa's [pdf].

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