In her short time as Broome County executive, Debbie Preston has made quite a stir. Her budget cutting skills seem quite sound, she seems genuinely interested in the thoughts of her constituents, the County has taken a hard stance on welfare fraud, and for the most part she has avoided touting ideas that would be overly controversial. The recent announcement of the Office of Energy Development however, is being met with a mixed response.
In comments on local news websites and in communications I have received from local political groups and activist organizations some folks think this idea is pretty lousy. People are commenting that this is just another government department that will waste taxpayer dollars, others think it's just another way to help the gas drilling industry muscle in fracking to the area, still more people are unsure what the department is supposed to do.
The political climate in Broome County is still very volatile, Preston's Ideas are meeting with some resistance, especially in the area of natural gas drilling. Binghamton mayor Matt Ryan is very much opposed to natural gas drilling in the area, and so is Preston's former challenger Tarik Abdelazim. I expect much energetic debate on this new Department to happen in the next few weeks, with much of the opposing view being presented by the large, and organized anti-fracking movement in the state which will surely see the Department of Energy Development as a front for Gas drilling in the area.
I have yet to form an opinion on this issue, as not enough is known about the form and function of this yet to be implemented new government department. What are your thoughts?