Democratic process worked
To The Editor:
Not mentioned in your February 20 article concerning the Andes Town Board meeting was the momentous vote by the town board to ban heavy industry, and therefore High Volume Hydraulic Fracture gas drilling (aka fracking). The Andes Town Board reviewed the issues and listened to the opinion of the residents of Andes and passed a ban on heavy industry, making Andes the first town in Delaware County to ban this extreme form of resource extraction.
About a year and a half ago, some residents questioned the town board on their views of what gas drilling would mean to Andes. Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly, assured us that the town board was in support of whatever was best for Andes. The town invited a USGS geologist to present information at a public hearing to provide town residents with an unbiased understanding of the opportunities and costs of this kind of drilling. The board also reviewed materials brought to them by residents and did research on their own, and came to the conclusion that this kind of heavy industry does not belong in our town.
We realized that allowing this industry in our town would be the death knell for tourism and agriculture, the basis of our local economy. We learned from the citizens of other states who welcomed fracking because they were told it was safe - that it was good for their community and for their country, only to learn that it was polluting their waters, their land and air - and making people sick. These people were lied to - and energy companies were exempt from accountability.
The people of Andes used the democratic process of speaking to our town supervisor and town board, presenting data on the risks of fracking. In the end it was the open mindedness of our elected officials that created and voted on this ban. We are truly grateful to Marty Donnelly and all the members of the town board.
Hopefully the town boards in other towns in our community will be similarly receptive to the facts about this industry and to the desires of their citizens. If not, remember that on Election Day.