When the going gets tough … threaten to join Pennsylvania?
Recent news reports have discussed several towns in New York expressing a desire to secede and join Pennsylvania due to the fracking ban legislation.
Members of the Upstate New York Towns Association have been vocal about their distaste for the fracking ban. The towns involved are located in the Southern Tier region, which shares part of the Marcellus Shale formation with Pennsylvania. That formation is being successfully mined in Pennsylvania, which makes the ban in New York a sore subject for these communities. The area has been struggling economically and many view the decision as ignoring upstate needs.
Jim Finch, town supervisor in Conklin, part of the Upstate New York Towns Association, told local media, “The Southern Tier is desolate. We have no jobs and no income. The richest resource we have is in the ground.”
Town officials, including Finch, have admitted secession is a long shot and probably won’t happen. It would be a complicated process, involving both states and the federal government. What the towns are really hoping for is attention and awareness brought to the issue.
However, the town association is in the process of a study comparing taxes and business costs in the two states. State Senator Thomas Libous had a question about secession on a recent constituent survey and has received a large number of responses. He also states that secession is unlikely to be successful, but doesn’t rule out proposing legislation if it’s what the constituents want.