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  • Joseph Wilson, Dryden

Correcting Lansing Supervisor On Natural Gas Pipeline

In the January 7th Ithaca Journal, under the headline "New Lansing Supervisor LaVigne lays out agenda for new year" are multiple misstatements attributed ​t​o LaVigne about the NYSEG/Iberdrola's proposed West Dryden Road Methane Pipeline. (The pertinent part of Mathew Montague's column is attached below.) I ask those with a connections to Lansing or Dryden to respond to the misstatements and incorrect assertions by writing both to the Ithaca Journal, and to Glynis Hart, managing editor of both the Lansing Ledger and Dryden Courier. Counterpoints to LaVigne's misstatements could include: The right of way for the Pipe is NOT 'already there:' As many as 50 of the 100+ property owners through whose private properties the Pipe is proposed to run have refused to sign NYSEG/Iberdrola's easement. Contrary to what LaVigne claims, NYSEG/Iberdrola has already said it is willing to use Eminent Domain against individual property owners in both Lansing and Dryden to gain control over these private citizen's land. Eminent Domain will be used to benefit the Spanish-based, for-profit, multi-national corporation Iberdrola which owns NYSEG. Iberdrola will use the State courts we local taxpayers fund. Getting a fair hearing on Eminent Domain will cost each individual property owner dearly in legal fees if he or she attempts to get fair compensation from NYSEG/Iberdrola's takeover.

That there are water and phone lines already in the area is irrelevant: NYSEG/Iberdrola wants to cut a new, separate, a 7+-mile long, 15-foot wide swath for its Pipe through each and every private property along West Dryden Road and into Lansing. The Pipe IS about fracking! The reason is that the 700,000 cubic feet per hour of methane gas running through the Pipe will come all or in large part from fracking. As proved in multiple local presentations by local experts, cost-competitive, renewable-powered air and ground-source pumps can heat and cool all the proposed development in Lansing and Ithaca, now, and will reduce pollution, greenhouse gas, and make us truly energy independent rather than beholden to companies like Iberdrola. Area lawyers have already stated that the proposed NYSEG/Iberdrola easement is extremely unfair to the individual property owners and to the Towns of Dryden and Lansing: Examples: $1 for each permanent easement and nothing to the Towns​ of ​Lansing and ​Dryden for a Pipe which will generate millions of dollars for NYSEG/Iberdrola. Control on each right of way belongs to NYSEG/Iberdrola forever, but NYSEG/Iberdrola can sell its right of control to anyone, any time without notice or compensation to the landowner​ or the Towns. There is NO enforceable provision for providing gas to the property owners or any other Dryden resident--everyone will have to negotiate separately for a hook up which could cost thousands of dollars to down-pressure gas in the Pipe ​which will run ​at 124 pounds per square inch. There is NO compensation to individual owners if the Pipe results​ causes their property ​to lose ​value. NYSEG/Iberdrola does NOT assume liability or hold owners harmless for problems caused by NYSEG/Iberdrola's workers or for damage caused by pipeline failure. Individual owners will have to negotioate or sue NYSEG/Iberdrola each time there is a problem. NYSEG/Iberdrola can go anywhere on each individual property during construction and afterwards to maintain the Pipe. Local experts have estimated that greenhouse gas emissions (and pollution) in the County will increase up to 50% when all the gas in the pipe is burned. All the risks of going forward with the Pipe are on the residents and the Towns of Lansing and Dryden while NYSEG/Iberdrola gets​ all the benefits. If instead we go with cost-competitive, renewable-powered air and ground-source pumps, individual property owners keep control of their land, there is no Eminent Domain, no costs and liabilities to Lansing and Dryden residents, no increased pollution or greenhouse gas, and clean, energy independent development goes forward in Lansing and Dryden.

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