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Antifrackers unhappy w/Obama’s gas stance


Pete Bianco may an extreme example, but many of the fractivists here at Binghamton University are unhappy with President Barack Obama’s support of natural gas development, which would include hydrofracking.

Bianco, a BU grad and Utica-area community share vegetable farmer, was toting a poster with photos of Obama and the bete noire of many environmentalists, former VP Dick Cheney.
“The poster says it all,” Bianco said, adding “I see what Obama is doing as an extension (of the Bush Cheney energy policies).

Not all of the fractivists, who tend more to be Democrats and on the left side of many issues, took such a harsh view but they were clear that they disagreed with Obama’s gas stance.

Douglas Vitarius, a retired teacher from nearby Sanford said he has a “mixed” view of the president. “I feel he really cares about people,” said Vitarius. “But then he has come out on the side of pro-gas development.”

Added fellow fractivist Joan McKiernan, a retired Bronx teacher who has a home in Windsor: “Obama has never gone against bankers or corporations.”

Perhaps ironically, the pro-frackers that I spoke with earlier this morning, say they are encouraged by Obama’s support for gas development suggesting it could serve as a Part II of the Obama stimulus package.

“There was no stimulus package there,” Bryant Latourette St., of Oxford, said of earlier stimulus plans in his Central New York community.

Obama is about an hour away at this point and anti-frackers are chanting some of the same slogans they’ve used at Capitol rallies, such as “Hey Hey Hey Ho, Hydrofracking has Got to Go.” Alternately group leaders like Walter Hang are talking about what they say are the perils of fracking.