April 10, 2009, Oneonta Daily Star: Drilling opponents form area coalition

Drilling opponents form area coalition

By Patricia Breakey
Delhi News Bureau
link to complete article is here:
http://www.thedailystar.com/local/local_story_100041518.html

Representatives from grass-roots environmental groups in Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties have formed CDOG, or Chenango-Delaware-Otsego Gas Drilling Opposition Group.

The common concern, the groups say, is that unlike traditional gas drilling in porous rocks, the gas sought in the Marcellus Shale formation is trapped too tightly within various types of stone layers to be extracted safely.

David Cyr, of Delhi, said Thursday that CDOG was organized just a few days after its founding members attended a Catskill Mountainkeeper-sponsored educational forum on gas drilling, held June 26 in Walton.

At the Walton forum, people from Colorado and Wyoming gave presentations on the negative social, economic and environmental consequences of horizontal gas drilling, which requires high-pressure hydrofracturing. That method uses water to break up rock, releasing gas within.

Cyr said CDOG is a work group that has provided numerous public information forums.

"Many other local grass-roots activist organizations have developed throughout New York state with a similar mission to oppose this thing so wrong that it should not ever be allowed anywhere," Cyr said. "CDOG is not the movement, but merely a small part of a growing movement."

Cyr said CDOG's mission is to inform the public of the great abuses that will occur, calling drilling the corporate/government planned exploitation of a particular resource.

Mike Bernhard, of Afton, said CDOG is creating a focal point for area groups that don't know each other but have a common goal.

"Someone from each group sits at CDOG when we meet once a month, but we are not a member organization and the meetings are not public," Bernhard said. "By having a lot of interaction, the people are working more efficiently." Bernhard said CDOG considers the environmentally sensible solution is to ban such gas drilling everywhere in the state.

"Our goals are very public, but our tactics are not in the public realm," Bernhard said.

For more information, visit www.Un-NaturalGas.Org.

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Patricia Breakey can be reached at 746-2894 or at stardelhi@stny.rr.com.

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