Binghamton’s Big Splash Fracking Symposium More Like a Tiny Raindrop

MDN visited an anti-fracking concert called “The Big Splash,” held at Binghamton’s Recreation Park on Sunday afternoon (see today’s companion article). While there were several hundred people on location enjoying music and food—maybe 400 or so by MDN’s count—it certainly wasn’t the “thousands” hoped for at the event. Local bands provided music and anti-fracking groups manned tables around the perimeter of a large tent, providing literature on the “horrors” of hydraulic fracturing.

But the big news of the weekend was from the “warm-up” event on Saturday. The Saturday event was a symposium on hydraulic fracturing held at the Riverwalk Hotel & Conference Center on Water Street in Binghamton. The symposium was hyped by the media in advance, but only 45 people turned up according to press accounts.

Speakers at the symposium included a chemistry professor from the State University at Oneonta, an environmentalist author, and Binghamton’s own Mayor Matt Ryan, who helped organize the event. Here was part of Mayor Ryan’s brilliant insights into the weighty and complex issue of hydraulic fracturing:

Ryan said that increases in arrests, drug abuse and skyrocketing rents have become recent problems in Bradford County, Pa., where fracking for natural gas in Marcellus Shale has been underway for more than a year.*

Binghamton is so lucky to have Matt Ryan as mayor, dontcha think?

*Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (Jun 4, 2011) – Gas drilling symposium serves as anti-fracking rally warm-up act