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Petition says: ‘You Don’t Speak for Me’

August 14, 2012

Following a town board resolution in the Town of Delaware that supports the right of residents to lease their land for gas drilling, Delaware Concerned Citizens has sent a petition to approximately 1,300 taxpayers titled “You Don’t Speak for Me!”

The Delaware petition reads, “As a taxpayer in the Town of Delaware, I wish to reply to the town board’s resolution of June 20, 2012 inviting the gas industry to come to our town.

“1. You passed a resolution invoking ‘property rights’ which doesn’t include everyone’s property rights. People who want to lease and people who don’t want to lease have property rights that deserve to be respected and protected by local government.

“2. You do not make hydro-fracking “safe and responsible” by passing a resolution saying you want it to be.

“3. The resolution was hastily decided without notice to residents and an opportunity to be heard. “The resolution does not represent my views.”


1300 'taxpayers' signed this letter, yet only just over 800 vote. If they want someone to represent their view they should try voting for a candidate who does!

Inability to comprehend the written word?

The short notice by TRR reads: "Delaware Concerned Citizens has sent a petition to approximately 1,300 taxpayers titled “You Don’t Speak for Me!”". The operative word there is "sent", yet the reading-comprehension-challenged "Mr. Wythe", has changed "sent" to "signed".

I'm sure that Delaware Concerned Citizens would love it if every single taxpayer (however that is defined), who receives this petition, agrees to sign it, but somehow, I suspect they do not expect that to happen.

As to voting, I'm sure, since "Mr. Wythe" does not reside in Delaware Township, he is not eligible to vote. Indeed, is he eligible, anywhere, to vote under the name, "George Wythe"?

Which brings up a reference to the revolutionary era demand, "No taxation without representation"!

In Damascus Township, PA, as an example, 43%, minimum, of taxpaying landowners, who are not primary residents, are not permitted to vote for those who may represent Damascus Township.

That is a primary reason, why this abomination called "shale gas extraction", remains a very difficult industrial development to defeat.

Still, the smug, gas-hole supporters, would do well to tread, very carefully.

After all, they are a minority, they are a minority, they are a minority.

A first for everything!

How does it feel to be right for a change Barfy? This is a first for you, I'm sure. Admittedly, I skimmed through the article and took it to be saying 1300 residents were against drilling. What a ridiculous thought, almost as ridiculous as the letter itself, a bit of the foolishness must have rubbed off. I should have known better!

Here in the USA, a person must vote in the municipality in which they primarily reside. The majority of votes decides the election, it's really quite simple, even a fool should be able to understand it. To use your example, in Damascus Twp., the 43% must accept the will of the 57% who can vote there. That doesn't mean they aren't represented. They still enjoy all the public services the town provides, whatever they may be.
Of course they can create petitions and send letters, exercise their first amendment rights in any legal way they so choose. The elected official however, must support the views of the majority if they wish to remain in office. Again, pretty basic stuff Barfy.

I realize yours is an OZ-like reality, but no matter how many times you click your heels and repeat it, shale gas supporters are not a minority, we are the growing majority!
It won't get you to Kansas either, so get used to it.

A "Growing majority", or a cancer within the community?

The lessor, falsely named, "Wythe" guy, would like us to believe that his kind, in our area, is in the majority, and that the anti shale gas extraction people's beliefs are not based in reality, but rather, represent The Wizard of Kansas. I repeat, rather, it is he, like the lackey in the G.W. Bush Administration, who believes that "empires" (think oil & gas companies, and the lessors who support them) have the right to create their own, personal, reality, and that we all should just accept it.

As to his "majority", and our "minority", this is a link, and story, I posted 3 weeks ago, in response to his witless, words.
Perhaps, he should read it this time. He still may not be capable of comprehending the meaning, however.

I offer him my condolences.

I would also add, that when one combines the following findings in PA, with the compulsory integration that NYS forces upon it's citizen landowners, where if 60% of a given square mile unit wishes to drill, the other 40% would be compelled to participate, the PA findings numbers, that show a great injustice, would grow astronomically.

I'm sure this makes all the other, anonymous posters like Mr. Wythe, very happy.

So much for property rights in NYS.

Study Examines Ownership, Control of Land with Marcellus Shale Gas

The study was done by Penn State’s Center For Economic and Community Development
July 18, 2012
Note: A similar study, with similar results, was done earlier by DCS for Damascus Township, PA.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ownership of the land in Pennsylvania counties with the most Marcellus Shale natural-gas drilling activity is concentrated among relatively few residents and people living outside the counties, according to a study by researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

The majority of residents in these counties together own little of the total land area and, therefore, have relatively little “voice” in the critical leasing decisions that affect whether and how Marcellus Shale drilling will occur in the counties, noted the lead investigator Timothy Kelsey, professor of agricultural economics.

Together, half of the resident landowners in these counties control only about 1 percent of the land area, and renters have no “voice” at all, the study suggests. Rather it is the top 10 percent of resident landowners, plus outside landowners (both public and private), who are able to make the major leasing decisions that affect communities.

“In some counties, such as Sullivan, Tioga and Lycoming, nonresidents have more voice about what occurs than do county residents, because more than half of the land is owned by those outside the county,” Kelsey said.

“Our analysis indicates that a majority of lease and royalty income from Marcellus Shale development will go to a relatively small share of the resident population in these counties, with much of the remainder going to others outside the counties.”

The study, “Marcellus Shale: Land Ownership, Local Voice, and the Distribution of Lease and Royalty Dollars,” was done by Penn State’s Center For Economic and Community Development , which is housed in the College of the Agricultural Sciences.

Co-authored by Alex Metcalf, a post-doctoral scholar in forest resources, and Rodrigo Salcedo, a doctoral candidate in agricultural, environmental, and regional economics, Penn State researchers felt it was important to look at the ownership of the land within 11 Pennsylvania counties with Marcellus natural-gas development activity because land ownership determines who has a voice in decisions about the activity and for the distribution of lease and royalty dollars, Kelsey explained.

“Much of the public debate about Marcellus Shale development revolves around differing views of fairness and equity,” he said. “These discussions often focus on the environmental, health, and other risks, the proper role for local government regulation and oversight of industry activities, and the ability of individual owners to use their resources as they believe is appropriate.”

The study was not intended to evaluate or make judgments about Act 13 of 2012 — the state law that allows counties to decide whether to allow Marcellus drilling and to impose an impact fee on wells — or the current distribution of control and income, Kelsey stressed.

“Rather, we believe that understanding land-ownership patterns helps to clarify the economic implications of Marcellus Shale development and the context for the concerns some are expressing about the need for more local government control over that development.” he said.

To examine likely mineral-rights ownership, researchers collected publicly available geographic information system, or GIS, landownership data from 11 county planning offices. Counties included in the study are Bradford, Butler, Clearfield, Fayette, Greene, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga, Washington, Westmoreland and Wyoming.

The 11 counties include nine of the top 10 Marcellus counties in Pennsylvania; the sole missing top-10 county was Susquehanna, for which GIS information was unavailable. Together, the 11 counties account for 79 percent of all Pennsylvania Marcellus wells through 2011.

Because surface land owners in Pennsylvania do not necessarily own the mineral rights under their land, and because up to a fifth of the land in the counties in question is publicly owned (state forest and state game lands), researchers supplemented the GIS data with U.S. Census data, mailing address records and physical inspections of property records.

The county resident land ownership included a mix of individuals, families, local businesses, farmers, hunting camps, land trusts and others.

Kelsey said the research is important because it documents that many of the residents in the counties with much drilling activity don’t have a voice in Marcellus development, despite having to deal with considerable disruption and change in their communities.

“They are encountering rising rents and housing prices, housing shortages, significant increases in traffic and road congestion, changing demands for local government services, increased conflict, concerns about environmental consequences, student turnover in public schools, and changes in the landscape,” he said.

“The decisions by nonresident owners and by the relatively small share of residents who own the majority of land thus can have profound implications for the quality of life for everyone else in the community.”

Barfy's gone off to see the wizard again!

We are not talking about land ownership here, the topic is VOTING residents. Try to get with the program will ya Barfy? The amout of acreage one owns has nothing to do with votes, any resident can vote even if they just rent. Primary residence, that's what determines who can vote.
Since you have brought up the subject of compulsory integration, let's just examine how terrible it really is. What it actually does is protect the non-participating landowner to insure they are paid for minerals extracted by nearby wells. It does not 'force' anyone to have a well drilled on their property or even allow any surface access to their land. It incurrs no liability associated with well development either, just collect your royalty check.
Ever heard the phrase “rule of capture”? As long as the Rule of Capture is the law of the land concerning oil and gas in New York State, Compulsory Integration, in one form or another, will continue to be necessary to protect the correlative rights of the landowners and to prevent the waste of a valuable and irreplaceable natural resource.