Melissa deCordova, Press Sun Bulletin 6/13/2012
BINGHAMTON – Former Pennsylvania Department of Environment Secretary John Hanger makes his inaugural visit to New York to discuss natural gas issues at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Holiday Inn at 2-8 Hawley Street in Binghamton.
The event is jointly sponsored by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) and the Broome County Farm Bureau. Local elected officials will attend and have an opportunity to ask former Secretary Hanger pertinent questions about regulating and monitoring natural gas development.
The discussion will include a screening of the newly released industry film, “Truthland,” in which Hanger appears and which details natural gas development. The JLCNY has announced that it will screen “Truthland” to various groups across the Southern Tier who have been misled by the film, Gasland, by Josh Fox. “Truthland” a short 35 minute movie done by a school teacher in Susquahanna County searching for the truth about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Asked by the filmmakers to find someone who could take this journey and telegraph it to thousands of landowners who also wanted to know the truth, JLC President Dan Fitzsimmons said, “I recommended my childhood friend, Shelly, because she had firsthand experience with a gas well on her property; a son who worked for the industry; and because she is originally from New York and wanted to help get the truth out about natural gas issues.” In “Truthland,” various experts address issues sur- rounding natural gas development and fracking, such as water, use of chemicals, methane migration, and whether livestock, crops and people are affected. Some experts point out how “Gasland” was misleading and led to erroneous conclusions in an artful and folksy way that encouraged believability.
This nationwide trek mirrors the JLC’s journey – whose leaders have combed the Northeast looking for the truth about natural gas development.
“This film validates and vindicates the JLC’s 70,000 members who have relied on facts and science and not bumper sticker slogans. We focused on substance sur- rounding natural gas drilling and while seeing this film and its conclusions makes us angry that so many were led astray, we are empowered to keep pushing for fair- ness, truth, and our rights back,” said Fitzsimmons.
The mission of the JLCNY is to foster, promote, advance and protect the common interest of the people as it pertains to natural gas development though educa- tion and best environmental practices. - Melissa deCordova