Via The Economist:
The towns are in New York’s Southern Tier. They sit on top of the Marcellus Shale, which is full of natural gas. New Yorkers, unlike their Pennsylvanian neighbours, are not allowed to tap the gas because of a state ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) announced by Andrew Cuomo, the governor, on December 17th.
Hours later on the same day, a state panel rejected a bid to build a casino in the Southern Tier. That was the last straw. A state lawmaker sent a survey to constituents asking about secession, and the idea began to take hold.
The Southern Tier used to be called the “Valley of Opportunity”, with companies like IBM employing thousands. But the area’s big employers left or downsized long ago. The economy is stagnant, with houses for sale everywhere. Windsor cannot afford a police department. Even its funeral homes are long gone. Meanwhile, just yards away in Pennsylvania, Great Bend is thriving. The neighbours have new cars, freshly painted houses and jobs, and all from shale. Penn State’s Centre for Economic and Community Development found that taxable income increased by 25% between 2007 and 2011 in Bradford County, where most of the Marcellus fracking takes place. Envious, frustrated Windsor wants to be in the same boat.
While secession is unlikely, it is not surprising that option is being explored. There are still no verifiable reports of fracking actually causing groundwater contamination, and there is no evidence that shows the dangers liberals often try to scare us with. What we do know about fracking and natural gas exploration is that it creates economic booms that people and local governments enjoy.
New York is hurting itself, actually. I’ve seen what natural gas booms can do for local economies. There is a lot of money that comes in. Quality tax money. Why on earth would they dislike that?
The Church of Gaia is more important than other people’s money. Weird.