Enhanced gas recovery and carbon sequestration are “Southern Tier Solutions”, according to Texan Bryce Phillips, president of a company bearing that name, who is selling his snake oil in Tioga, Broome, and Chemung Counties, promising to meet the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act while enriching landowners.
Even if this first in the nation process fulfills his goal to be a “blueprint for the free world” without causing earthquakes or radon and heavy metal migration as a consequence of pumping CO2 for storage beneath our farmland, there is a price – turning our rural land into a massive factory floor.
Is this what we want? Upon reviewing municipal comprehensive plans, I found not one of them to envision heavy industrialization replacing farmlands. Tioga County’s 2020 Strategic Plan lists niche agriculture and natural resources as an economic opportunity. Broome County highlights the groundwater recharging benefits of farmland. Residents of the Town of Erin in Chemung County place “peace and quiet” and “beauty of natural surroundings” at the top of their list of why they live there.
Mr. Phillips says he’ll go away if we don’t want to become the proving grounds for his ‘solution’. Who’s going to show him the way back to Texas?