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the view from west davenport

ZAGATA: Fracking Ban Cost County $1B A Year

The View From West Davenport

ZAGATA: Fracking Ban

Cost County $1B A Year

Before getting into what is likely to be a controversial discussion, let’s take a minute to talk about fracking – correctly called hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking is a process by which water, sand, and chemicals are injected underground at high pressures to crack open rock formations consisting largely of sand grains that are very tightly packed together, i.e. they have tiny interstitial spaces which are filled with tightly held natural gas.

The idea behind this practice is to create fissures into which that trapped gas will “flow” and then be transported to the surface where it can be gathered into pipelines and transported to customers who burn the gas to produce electricity, heat homes and cook food.

Following a bogus claim that the practice caused water coming from a faucet in Dimock, Pa., to burn when lit, opposition mounted. Activists deliberately misled the public about why the water burned – the water well had been drilled into a pocket of natural gas associated with a coal formation. As you well know, Pennsylvania has abundant coal formations. What you might not know is:

The same thing has happened in the Town of Maryland, without any drilling or fracking.

Opposition mounted and many towns were visited by lawyers claiming they would help the towns draft moratoria preventing fracking. What they didn’t tell the towns is they were being paid by a foundation opposed to fracking. Paid activists were sent out to build opposition to fracking. How do I know that – because I was approached by one in Greene, Chenango County, who admitted she was a paid activist.
Governor Patterson, lobbied by groups opposed to fracking, put a temporary moratorium in place in 2008.

In 2011, Governor Cuomo, who has gone back and forth on the issue, “asked” DEC to do another study and the agency concluded that fracking could be done safely, and the Administration initially began crafting regulations for the practice.

Revisiting Clinton Playbook

Column

THE VIEW FROM WEST DAVENPORT

Revisiting Clinton Playbook

Think back to the days of the Clinton Presidency and the words “I did not have a sexual relationship with that woman.” Stains on her dress would seem to indicate otherwise – but it was her fault because she was a woman.

Then Hillary runs for the presidency and she and the DNC hire a foreign agent to work with the Russians to dig up dirt on her opponent – Donald Trump.

After losing the election, they claimed the President colluded with the Russians to affect the outcome of the election – in other words, they tried to blame the new President for doing exactly what they had done – attempt to impact the election outcome.

When folks started to look at the origin of the fake dossier, the Clinton playbook kicked into action – blame someone else and deflect attention away from you.

Guess what, my fellow readers – former Vice President Joe Biden may be using that same play – deflect attention away from your perceived or real wrongdoing by attacking someone else. The person being attacked is, and this should be no surprise, President Trump.

You see, the former vice president is on record that he used his position to threaten the Ukrainian government with withholding $1 billion in loan guarantees if that government didn’t fire the prosecutor who was investigating corruption of the leadership of Burisma Holdings – a very large gas company owned by a Ukrainian official.

His son, Hunter, was placed on the board of that company and paid $50,000 per month to do something – exactly what no one seems to really know.

This was happening at the very same time Joe was serving as the Obama point-person on the Ukrainian government assigned to root out corruption. That’s a no-no and “Joe” bragged to his colleagues about having done it by stating, “I said: ‘We’re leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Mr. Biden recounted at a 2018 event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. “Well, … he got fired.”

Whether or not his threat was the actual cause for the prosecutor being fired and whether or not his son was the target of the investigation, we’ll likely never know. What we do know is that if it looks like
a skunk and smells like a skunk, it likely is a skunk.

To deflect attention from even the perception of wrong-doing, the former vice president went on the attack, accusing President Trump of an abuse of power for allegedly asking the new Ukrainian minister to investigate if there was any wrongdoing with regards to The Biden Affair. It is no surprise the media jumped at the chance, bolstered by cries of “fowl” by the Democrats, to attack the president.

However, before choosing sides on this, let’s dig a little deeper. There were at least a dozen people listening in on that phone call. Our president may be a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them.

Do we really think he would ask a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent with that many people listening in – especially after being dragged through a two-year investigation over alleged “collusion”?

A few days after the feeding frenzy in Washington, we’re learning the “whistle-blower” didn’t actually have first-hand information – he wasn’t on the call. Could it possibly be this person has an axe to grind – maybe an agenda involving starting yet another investigation to distract both the Congress and the president from working on behalf of the American people?

As a taxpayer, I’m fed up with the waste of time and money. There are things that need doing, and it’s time the Democrats work with the president on things like infrastructure, the drug epidemic, violent crime and illegal immigration. Enough is enough.

Beyond that, however, I am ticked off that our media and politicians assume the American public is that gullible. Let’s be sure we do our homework before going on the attack or agreeing with the media – and that applies whether it’s a Democrat or Republican that’s being accused.

Mike Zagata,
DEC commissioner in
the Pataki Administration
and a former environmental executive for Fortune 500 companies, lives in
West Davenport.

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