Above: A poster that includes clippings from newspaper coverage about fracking regulations in Cobleskill, posted on the Sharon Springs Against Hydrofracking Facebook page on Saturday.
The debate over how hydraulic fracturing will be regulated in towns across New York came to the Schoharie County town of Cobleskill two weeks ago at a town board meeting where Town Supervisor Tom Murray clashed with anti-fracking activists.
Supervisor Tom Murray has weathered controversy before. Despite being allegedly caught on tape uttering racist slurs about Martin Luther King, he was re-elected to his post last year.
Now Murray is being confronted by Concerned Citizens for the Town of Cobleskill, a group that wants the town to pass a moratorium on fracking.
According to the Schoharie Times-Journal, Murray said at the meeting that he prefers to regulate with zoning, which would potentially allow fracking in two locations in the town:
Once it finishes tightening up its land use regulations, the Town of Cobleskill could allow hydrofracking in its two industrial zones, both stone quarries owned by Cobleskill Stone Products ...
Mike Shuster, who's helped lead the fight against fracking in Sharon Springs, asked for an explanation of what's to be gained by allowing fracking.
"Am I dumb for not understanding?" Mr. Speer asked Mr. Murray for "some nugget we can grab hold of."
"Our zoning," Mr. Murray answered. "We believe we can protect ourselves with our zoning."