The true silent majority

To the Editor:

I wonder if the people of Westerlo know that its town government is poised to allow hydrofracking here.

I wonder if the people in the city of Albany, who now drink some of the best water in the country from Westerlo resources, know it.

I wonder what will happen to our beautiful town if New York State lifts its moratorium on fracking, and the Westerlo Town Board doesn't take advantage of the right, upheld by the highest court in the state, to prohibit it.

There are those who are willing to play Russian roulette with our future, who want to minimize the threats from shale gas development by saying, “It's safe,” or, “There's no gas here,” or, “It won't happen here,” or, “It's not cost-effective here,” and so on.

It's not safe, and evidence for that is becoming more and more public in spite of the big-money campaigns to suppress it.

There are two shale gas reserves underlying the Albany County Hilltowns, the shallow edge of the Marcellus and the deep reserves of the Utica, according to Geology.com.

Even if gas is never hydrofracked here, impacts from shale gas development press in on us: water extraction, toxic waste disposal, pipeline expansions, railway transport, liquid natural gas storage facilities and transport, etc., to name a few.

Construction of liquid natural gas facilities in New York was prohibited after a 1973 explosion on Staten Island killed 40 people. Now, according to SourceWatch, the state is getting ready to permit it again.

The multi-national oil and gas corporations have no allegiance to our country. They have big plans to sell their products to the highest bidders, the overseas markets. According to The Recorder, in Greenfield, Massachusetts, they even want to pass on their capital investment costs directly to us!

The government of Westerlo has an obligation to be fair to all its citizens and to make decisions based on accountability, ethical integrity, and well-developed information. It has a legal responsibility to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the community.
I say this because “It is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling