News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
DAILY FEATURES >
 CROSSWORD  
 HOROSCOPES  
 CARTOONS  
 DEAR ABBY  
 EMPLOYMENT  
 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT  
 REAL ESTATE  
 AUTOMOTIVE  
 REMEMBRANCE  
 GOODS & SERVICES

Lou Allstadt

170 PARTICIPANTS HEAR MANY IDEAS FOR FUEL FUTURE

170 PARTICIPANTS

HEAR MANY IDEAS

FOR FUEL FUTURE

Chamber’s Rubin: Exciting Information

Exchanged, But ‘Now The Work Begins’

Concerned Citizens of Oneonta’s Kate O’Donnell, the Hartwick College professor who organized an energy forum in Oneonta two weeks ago, was among today’s attendees. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Heegan
Rubin

COOPERSTOWN – In the end, 170 – up from 125 a week ago, and 155 a couple of days ago – today listened for eight hours to presentations on the United States’ – and Otsego County’s – energy future from some of the most knowledgeable people in New York State.

The venue was the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s “Energy Summit:  Energy & The Economy,” which finished up in late afternoon in The Otesaga’s pretty-close-to-full ballroom.

When it was over, Al Rubin, chairman of the chamber’s board, and chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan both said they were pleased by the amount of information the 19 varied presenters delivered in mostly 15-minute segments between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“This wasn’t about debate,” said Rubin.  “This was about listening to what other people had to say.  This event met and beat our expectations.”  But, he added, “The work begins now.”

So Far, 125 Sign Up For Energy Summit, With Limit Of 200

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

With Week To Go,

Energy Summit Fills

125 Of Its 200 Seats

Seeking ‘Balanced Agenda,’ 19 Speakers

Planned; Day Expands From 6 To 9 Hours

Jay Egg of Geothermal is keynoter at the Otsego Chamber’s “Energy Summit.”

COOPERSTOWN – With a week to go, 125 people have already signed up for the Otsego County Chamber’s “Energy Summit: Infrastructure & Economy,” and the day has expanded from the original six hours to a nine-hour program to accommodate a growing roster of speakers.

Planned Thursday, Jan. 31, at The Otesaga, the summit will be able to accommodate about 200 people.   To register, call 432-4500, extension 104, or email karen@otsegocc.com.

After announcing the original concept, the phone started ringing with suggested speakers, Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan said in an interview a few minutes ago, and she kept adding speakers to ensure “a balanced agenda.”

Tillapaugh Kuch, Allstadt Returned To Village Board

Tillapaugh Kuch, Allstadt

Returned To Village Board

Celebrating their victories in today’s Cooperstown Village Board election are Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, right, with husband Gary Kuch, and Lou Allstadt, left, with wife Melinda Hardin.  Joining them at Alex’s Bistro is their Village Board colleague Richard Sternberg.  Tillapaugh again led the balloting for the two vacancies, 318, with Allstadt at 285.  Challenger John Sansevere tallied 104.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Polls Open In Cooperstown For Village Board Elections

Polls Open In Cooperstown

For Village Board Elections

Genevieve Smerski, right, voted a few minutes ago, casting the first ballot of today’s Cooperstown Village Board elections. Incumbents Lou Allstadt and Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch are being challenged by John Sansevere. The polls will be open until 9 p.m. Mrs. Smerski is accompanied by Bev Hargrove, who voted second.  Election Inspector Tom Heitz assists. (Jim Kevlin/AllTOSEGO.com)
Incumbent Trustees Endorsed
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Incumbent Trustees Endorsed

Incumbent Village Trustees Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, left, and Lou Allstadt, right, flank challenger John Sansevere, an independent, at the League of Women Voters’ forum Monday at Village Hall.  Tillapaugh is running as a Democrat; Allstadt appears on the ballot on both independent and Democratic lines.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Editor’s Note: Here are two final Letters to the Editor endorsing candidates in the upcoming Cooperstown village elections.  The polls will be open noon-9 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at the fire hall on Chestnut Street.

Katz: Allstadt, Tillapaugh ‘Incredible’ Trustees

Blabey Praises Intelligent Management, Vision

Allstadt, Tillapaugh Win Democratic Nod to Run

Allstadt, Tillapaugh Win

Democratic Nod to Run

GOP Bows Out, No Independents In Yet
Cooperstown Deputy Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, right, with her husband Gary Kuch, and Village Trustee Lou Allstadt, left, with his wife Melinda Hardin, wait to fill out the necessary paperwork after they were nominated for further terms on the Village Board a few minutes ago at the Democratic caucus in Village Hall. Village Trustee Richard Sternburg, seated, was elected to chair the caucus. Village Republicans failed to hold a caucus this year, but independents have until Feb. 14 to collect 50 signatures and get their names on the ballot; Village Administrator Teri Barown has the paperwork. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Editor’s Note:  This posting of letters on divesting fossil fuels led to today’s column in the New York Times, “Once an Oil Executive, Now a Crusader Against Fossil Fuel Stocks,” by James B. Stewart.  A number of readers have asked for the link, so here it is again.

The Cooperstown Debate

DIVESTING

FOSSIL-FUEL

STOCKS

The lead article in the Oct. 27, 2016, edition of The Freeman's Journal set off a debate on the fossil-fuel divestment between to local heavy-hitters, Lou Allstadt, the village trustee and former Mobil executive vice president, and David Russell, the lawyer, banker and former pension counsel to the New York State Office of the Controller. Interest in the Allstadt-Russell discussion and requests for reprints has prompted this online compilation of the discussion.
Editor’s Note:  The lead article in the Oct. 27, 2016, edition of The Freeman’s Journal set off a debate on the Village of Cooperstown’s decision to divest fossil-fuel investments between two local heavy-hitters, Lou Allstadt, the village trustee and former Mobil executive vice president, and David Russell, the lawyer, banker and former pension counsel to the New York State Office of the Controller. Interest in the Allstadt-Russell discussion and requests for reprints has prompted this online compilation of the discussion.

VILLAGE CASTS OUT

FOSSIL-FUEL STOCKS

News Article

The Freeman’s Journal, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016

Base Pension-Fund Decisions

On Unbiased, Impartial Expertise

Op-Ed by DAVID RUSSELL

The Freeman’s Journal, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2016

Investors, Cooperstown Included,

 Can No Longer Ignore Climate Change

Op-Ed by LOU ALLSTADT

The Freeman’s Journal, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2016

Expert Opinion, Advice Mixed On

Future Performance Of Fossil-Fuel Stocks

Letter to Editor by DAVID RUSSELL

The Freeman’s Journal, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2016

Fossil-Fuel Business

Facing Major Change

Letter to Editor by LOU ALLSTADT

The Freeman’s Journal, Nov. 25, 2016

Allstadt, Russell Fossil-Fuel Debate Topic Of Column In New York Times

Allstadt, Russell Fossil-Fuel Debate

Topic Of Column In New York Times

James B. Stewart
James B. Stewart

COOPERSTOWN – Under the headline, “Much Ado in Cooperstown, N.Y., Over Vote to Dump Fossil Fuel Stocks,” New York Times business columnist James B. Stewart has assessed the multi-week debate in The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta between Lou Allstadt and David Russell on the Village Board’s decision to divest fossil-fuel stocks from one of its pension portfolios.

“The trustees of Cooperstown, N.Y., hardly expected their village (population 1,834) to emerge as a flash point in a national debate over climate change and socially responsible investing,” Stewart, author of the 1992 best-seller, “Den of Thieves,” on the collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert, and an eminent business columnist, wrote in an article that went up on www.nytimes.com this afternoon and is due for publication in Friday’s print edition.

Stewart is familiar with Cooperstown through attending the Glimmerglass Festival, and was at The Otesaga last summer to hear the festival-sponsored discussion of the Salem witch trials that featured New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin.

CLICK HERE TO READ JAMES STEWART’S COLUMN
TRUSTEES CAST OUT OIL STOCKS

TRUSTEES CAST

OUT OIL STOCKS

Village Trustee Lou Allstadt, left, and Village Treasurer Derek Bloomfield offered differing view on using taxpayers money for
Village Trustee Lou Allstadt, left, and Village Treasurer Derek Bloomfield offered differing view on using taxpayers money for “social investment.” (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

S&P 500 Stocks Shifted To S&P 475

By JIM KEVLIN • for www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Rejecting the advice of the village treasurer, the Village Board this evening voted unanimously to shift its investments in S&P 500 stocks over the next year into an S&P 475 scrubbed free of fossil-fuel companies.

Trustees acted despite Treasurer Derek Bloomfield, citing guidelines for CFAs (chartered financial analysts), advising them that a fully diversified portfolio, including fossil-fuel stocks, is the most stable. “Social investment should be done with one’s own money,” he said.

Jubilant Local Fracking Foes Shift Focus To Renewables, Pipeline

Jubilant Local Fracking Foes

Shift Focus To Renewables, Pipeline

By JIM KEVLIN • The Freeman’s Journal/HOMETOWN ONEONTA

Editions of Thursday-Friday, Dec. 25-26, 2014

COOPERSTOWN

Next, renewables, Lou Allstadt, a Sustainable Otsego mainstay, tells celebrants at the Cafe Ommegang Wednesday, Dec. 17, after Governor Cuomo declared fracking will be banned in New York State.  In the back, from left, are Nicole Dillingham, Kim Jastremski, Larry Bennett, John Davis and Marion Carl. (Jim Kevlin/The Freeman's Journal)
Next, renewables, Lou Allstadt, a Sustainable Otsego mainstay, tells celebrants at the Cafe Ommegang Wednesday, Dec. 17, after Governor Cuomo declared fracking will be banned in New York State. In the back, from left, are Nicole Dillingham, Kim Jastremski, Larry Bennett, John Davis and Marion Carl. (Jim Kevlin/The Freeman’s Journal)

Today, Albany. Tomorrow, Kalangadoo, Australia.

While local fracking foes were elated by Governor Cuomo’s Wednesday, Dec. 16, announcement that he plans to ban the controversial practice in New York State, they were already looking beyond.

The widest-reaching is Lou Allstadt, the retired Mobil executive vice president, whose short-term plans include appearing on a Jan. 12 panel at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club. Fellow panelists will be Angus Gillespie, a Shell vice president from The Hague, and Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board chair.

“I hope we don’t spend the whole time on (fracking),” said Allstadt, who for the past year also has been active in the Citizens Climate Lobby, which is asking Congress to enact a fee at the mine head and the drilling pad to encourage customers to move away from fossil fuels. “The whole big picture is renewables, and how do you transition to that.”

As fracking foes gathered at Cafe Ommegang within hours of the governor’s announcement to celebrate their victory, discussion – and subsequent interviews – turned to a number of outstanding issues:

• A ban on the spreading of sometimes radioactive brine from fracking operations in northeast Pennsylvania on Upstate roads to reduce dust. Dumping of other kinds of fracking waste in Upstate landfills is also a concern.

• Halting the “fracking infrastructure,” as Otsego 2000 President Nicole Dillingham put it, including the Constitution Pipeline through Delaware County and a new compressor station on the existing Dominion Pipeline at Minden, Montgomery County, 10 miles north of Cherry Valley.

• Quality-of-life initiatives to position Otsego County for an era where fossil fuels play less of a role. Dillingham mentioned promoting organic farming, the breweries and farmers’ markets. Bob Eklund, New Lisbon, said the Butternut Valley Alliance hopes to encourage solar energy, and promote its towns as artists’ communities.

In June, Allstadt was on Capitol Hill with 600 individuals affiliated with the Citizens Climate Lobby who in a few days were able to discuss the fee idea with 507 of the 535 senators and congressmen.

The fee would raise the price of fossil fuels, discouraging their use, and the revenues generated would be distributed to Americans to use as they wish, he said. At-border fees would prevent foreign companies from unfairly competing with U.S. concerns.

“Just doing away with fracking doesn’t help you unless you reduce total fossil-fuel use,” said Allstadt, who has received queries, in addition to Kalangadoo, from anti-frackers in Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Poland and Bulgaria, and provided them primarily with scientific studies that support the cause.

Allstadt declined to predict when legislation will be introduced, saying the Citizens don’t wish to see that happen until a clear bipartisan majority of support is achieved. “This is not a liberal or conservative issue,” he said. “We all have to deal with climate change.”

While it is supporting fight against the “fracking infrastructure,” already filing testimony in Schoharie-based Stop the Pipeline’s legal challenge, Otsego 2000 is also moving on, said Dillingham. It organized its second Glimmerglass Film Days in November, and is proceeding with its historic preservation awards and programs to help farmers.

The fracking ban, though, “removed a cloud that has been hanging over our region,” allowing people buy homes, move their families here and start businesses without worry, she said.

Since the fracking decision, U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, has visited the county, and told a Sustainable Otsego delegation meeting in Cooperstown that he will introduce a resolution recognizing climate change and the need to combat it, according to SO Moderator Adrian Kuzminski.

In some ways, it will be harder to combat multiple manifestations of “fracking infrastructure” than promoting the single focus of the ban, said Kuzminski, whose listserve was able to turn out hundreds of anti-frackers on short notice.

Still, “it reaffirms some kind of belief that the system is not totally broken, politically, that big money will carry the day,” said Kuzminski, a philosopher who has written such books as “Fixing the System,” a history of population. “Coming up against the largest industry on the planet, it turned out they couldn’t turn the trick because of grass-roots resistance.”

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103