Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Regarding the Cancellation of the Breakfast with Kinder Morgan PR Executive Allen Fore

Flyer distributed this week to local businesses and Chamber of Commerce members in Milford, PA - Click to Enlarge
On Tuesday, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce cancelled Thursday's breakfast event with Kinder Morgan PR Executive Allen Fore citing threats of protest as concerned residents flyered local businesses to attend with questions.

The event at the Best Western in Matamoras PA was scheduled for 7:30AM and announced to the public to attend. At a meeting on Sunday evening organized by the Stop the Tennessee Pipeline blog, concerned residents decided against a protest of the event in order to give business owners and Chamber members a space to ask questions related to tourism, recreation, and real estate impacts of the controversial pipeline project.

A decision was made by concerned residents not to organize a protest and to flyer local businesses to prepare them with facts and figures regarding the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Northeast Upgrade Project. (Flyer pictured above)

From: "Socioeconomic Value of the Delaware River Basin in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania"
Subtitled, "The Delaware River Basin, an economic engine for over 400 years"
Final Draft May 25, 2011 Prepared by:
Gerald J. Kauffman University of Delaware Water Resources Agency
Save Cummins Hill Road co-founder Jolie DeFeis stated in a comment to the press, "As you can see, we were looking forward to a serious dialog with this company. It is a shame that it was cancelled on such a silly pretense as there has been NOTHING to indicate an unsafe environment. We all have lots of questions and we were very much looking forward to hearing about TGP's plans."

DeFeis added, "As a parent of young children I am very concerned about safety and as a home owner am interested in how the pipeline will affect home values in the town. Many of my friends make up the Chamber and their business depends on tourism - how will that be at be affected? So far all of the workers we've seen and met with have out of state plates.  We understand they are staying outside of Milford in New Jersey and Hawley.  We wanted to ask if that is true, why haven't they hired locals and why aren't they lodging in our town?"

In a press release Tuesday, the Chamber stated the protesters were associated with the Occupy Movement and cited comments out of context from a lengthy Facebook discussion where local residents weighed the value of a protest. By the end of the discussion, participants agreed that protest would not be the best step forward.

DeFeis wrote in a press statement, "We are a group of concerned citizens and not associated with any occupy movement.  We represent families with young children, school teachers and small business owners whose lives are about to be terribly impacted by the unnecessary fracking infrastructure that is being created by TPG.  And we couldn't be more politically diverse as a group - young, old, students, retirees, republican, democrats and tea-partyers who all live here for the beauty of Milford, home of the American Conservation movement."

Pike County resident Alex Lotorto said in a statement, "I'm glad that Allen Fore is not receiving any air time in Pike County. He is no friend to businesses here. My late mother, Sandy Lotorto, was a member of the Pike Chamber and ran Floral Crafters, a silk and dried florist shop where she sold Poconos-themed gifts to Milford's tourists. My mom passed away in October of last year and had previously earned a living selling homes as a realtor in Pike County, many that are located on the residential roads where the pipeline's right of way now crosses. The pipeline project is offensive to me, most of all, because she was the face of Milford for many home buyers and tourists that may not return when they see the industrialization of our landscape."

On the Facebook discussion Lotorto commented, "So we discussed this in the meeting. Regardless of what protest people are planning, we need to focus attention on turning out supportive local business owners to the breakfast. There are going to be police officers present at the Best Western planning to turn away anyone at the door who isn't registered. The press is going to be inside writing about what people say/ask Allen Fore. If local residents/business owners are there asking good questions that we prepped them for, we will make a splash in humiliating him."

Lotorto added, "Personally, I see no strategic value in making a raucous at 7:30am in that room. I will support anyone who does. I personally would rather leave space for folks like [local business owners] and others to be pissed and speak about the detriment of the pipeline for tourism, recreation, and real estate businesses. Right now, more than anything, we should be working our networks of business owners and Chamber members and turning them out to the meeting to speak."

From Blue Ridge TV 13's 5PM Report:

For those interested in economics of shale gas, here is award-winning economist Deborah Rogers' talk titled "Economics of Fracking":

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