Otsego Now Grant Application Angers Oneonta

Large Crowd Turns Out

At Natural Gas Hearing

Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky explains his office’s $3 million grant application for a natural gas decompression site in the Oneonta Commerce Park (formerly Pony Farm).  At right is Town Board member Brett Holleran.  (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

WEST ONEONTA – According to Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky, Oneonta is running out of gas.

“There is no more gas,” said Zakrevsky, summarizing the gravity of the situation.

Oneonta has struggled with its gas supplies for several years, but now the situation is dire. Zakrevsky’s proposed solution: a compressed natural gas decompression station in the Oneonta Commerce Park, the renamed Pony Farm.

Otsego Now submitted a state Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) July 27, hoping to help finance the estimated $17 million project.

Zakrevsky’s proposed solution brought out a crowd of over 100 people to the Oneonta Town Board meeting on Wednesday night, most looking to show their displeasure with the proposition.

“Save democracy tonight, town board,” pleaded Oneonta city resident Lisa Barr. “These operations are the death-rattle of the fossil ‘fool’ industry. We don’t need them; we cannot afford them; they lie about jobs; what they bring is harm; they block us from exploring and using other energy sources.”

Barr was one several people who spoke, all of whom vehemently opposing the decompressor station, and natural gas in general.

“We’ve got to catch on,” said Fred Lanfear, Oxford. “How many signs, how many temperatures, how many reports from around the world do we need to lay off these fossil fuels?”

Many of the attendees supported alternative energy sources, such as solar and geo-thermal to provide heat, but with a severe lack of knowledge on the topic, Zakrevsky is simply asking for outside help on the issue.

“My office is not an energy office, and I’m looking for anybody to help me,” said Zakrevsky. “I understand people are frustrated, but it would be nice as opposed to just expressing that we should do something different, it would be nice for someone to help us do something different.”

No legislation was voted on regarding the matter, and Zakrevsky stated that he will continue to search for a suitable solution to Oneonta’s gas issues.

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2 thoughts on “Otsego Now Grant Application Angers Oneonta

  1. Nicole Yaciw

    I’m with the crowd. We don’t need gas. There’s a river here that’s a natural energy creator, there’s winds and lots of places to put wind turbines, and there’s plenty of sunshine for solar. No more fossil fuels. No. Our financial leaders and politicians need to start thinking of the future, not just the here and now.

    Oneonta also needs jobs that people can feel good about being a part of a solution, rather than a part of the problem.

  2. RG Kirn

    Before any credible or viable energy solution can be realized, there must be a fundamental understanding of facts. Asserting the manipulated hysteria of man-made fossil fuel induced global warming as a basis for denial of natural gas utilization is an example of the lunacy that has stalled a national energy policy – while erroneously justifying astronomical expenditures for wind and solar energy sources that are neither economically or technically viable and only exist due to huge subsidization – and still requite equivalent fossil fuel energy investment due to their inherent unreliability. Even with state’s policy of blocking natural gas development – a huge potential economical benefit for a struggling upstate – natural gas is plentiful and low cost. Contrary to environmental zealots discredited claims, on a comprehensive life cycle basis, natural gas energy production is less costly and of less environmental detriment than solar and wind. As for the increasingly denounced assertions of dire climate change, fossil fuels carbon dioxide contribution to greenhouse gasses is so small (water vapor is the primary constituent at greater than 95%) that its impact can only be hypothesized in self-serving studies – all of which have been discredited largely due to revelation of data manipulation – that use the environment as a shill for political gain.

    Oneonta, and the upstate as a whole, has long suffered from ill-conceived economic, regulatory, and environmental burdens instituted by myopic special interests that fail to understand or even recognize unintended consequences. Decisions need to be based upon facts and a full understanding of the options, benefits, consequences, and eventual impact. Town hall meetings conducted in the absence of factual presentations only provide, as evidenced by this article, a soapbox for false information from hysterical zealots who have minimal first-hand knowledge and assert biased opinion as fact. As long as credence is provided to such useless efforts, the energy issues – like so many others – will never be resolved.

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