November 12, 2009, FOX 40 News WICZ TV: To Drill or Not to Drill? DEC Holds Gas Hearing at CV

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"If I didn’t think it could be done safely, I wouldn’t want it."

Victor Furman owns land in Chenango Forks and wants the resources sitting under it to be utilized.

"It’s going to be a safe, well audited process, and it’s going to bring jobs to the area," Furman said.

But not everyone is as quick as Furman to jump on board with natural gas drilling in the Southern Tier.

"We need to stop this because it’s going to poison our water, it’s going to poison our air, we know accidents happen, said Fay Gougakis of Ithaca.

Some that live in the area of the Marcellus Shale say that it’s not an issue of black and white and that the potential for drilling in this area exists, but now is not the time.

"We need to have everything in place before you let any of this happen," said Wes Gillingham, Program Director for Catskill Mountain Keeper.

And there were many present at Friday’s gas hearing at Chenango Valley High School, like Gillingham, who believe that gas drilling isn’t something that should be rushed.

"You can do environmentally sound drilling, but it takes an extreme amount of monitoring and you really need to know the details of what you’re going to agree with," said Bradd Vickers, President of the Chenango County Farm Bureau.

But those in favor of excavating for the underground resource, say time is of the essence and the struggling economy depends on it.

"If the gas industry is not allowed to responsibly thrive in Broome County, you might as well place a ‘closed’ sign on this community," said County Legisator Steve Herz.

****FOX 40′s Chris Whalen Reporting****

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