Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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August 20th, 2010

Partnership’s stand on gas drilling taken out of context

The Partnership for Economic Development has been under heat because they are doing what they are supposed to do and that is to promote and bring business to Sullivan County.

The Partnership’s recent position on gas drilling has clearly been taken out of context. All they are saying is that they support gas drilling as a means of economic development as long as it is safe. There is nothing wrong with that stand.

Personally, I think hydrofracking would be detrimental, and I am grateful to the Sullivan County Legislature and people like David Sager leading the fight for placing a ban on gas drilling. I wish property owners with hopes of striking it rich would do the same.

Without a doubt before any drilling begins, we must be certain beyond a reason of doubt that our environment and infrastructure will not be damaged. Drilling for gas or hydrofracking as they call it as currently proposed would be detrimental to Sullivan County.

Despite what gas companies might say, the research and evidence is there that hydofracking contaminates water. Documented incidents from Colorado to Texas to West Virginia to nearby Pennsylvania make clear that the dangers and fears of hydofracking are very real.

But all this does not mean the Partnership cannot or should not look into the positive aspects of gas drilling if they choose to do so with the premise that safety comes first.

Critics of the Partnership are attempting to discredit the group because member’s financial concerns might benefit from gas drilling. We forget that is why the Partnership is there in the first place; to help businesses grow, and yes sometimes those very businesses can be those of board members.

It is very easy to divert from the truth and attempt to discredit people. Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins and his associates are doing just that with allegations that District Attorney Jim Farrell is prosecuting him because of politics.

If I had a dime for every time a critic of this column said I write what I write because of my own self interests, I would be very rich by now. The stories I hear are so farfetched and fabricated readers of this column would be shocked by some of the allegations levied against me in an attempt to discredit what I have to say. The simple truth is that my viewpoints are what I truly and honestly believe in.

Equally, it is wrong and unjust to mislead the public into believing members of the Sullivan County Partnership are taking a stand on gas drilling because they have selfish motives.

Critics of the Partnership are now asking the legislature to adopt a code of ethics requiring agencies the County contracts for services to disclose their financial and other potential conflict-of-interests.

While this proposal is noteworthy and warrants discussion, it should have nothing to do with the Partnership’s stand on gas drilling. We are a small County and sadly there is a small circle that takes care of one another.

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