Representative Tom Reed, NY 23rd Congressional District, held a Town Meeting in Dryden, NY on February 2, 2013 at the Village Hall. Dryden’s ban on gas drilling was challenged by Anschutz Gas Corporation in September, 2011. In February 2012,Judge Phillip Rumsey ruled in favor of Dryden and against Anschutz and so far Dryden’s ban has remained. Hydrofracking was an major issue during elections for supervisor and town council, and the election outcome confirmed a community consensus in support of the ban on gas drilling. So it seems particularly fitting that Congressman Reded chose Dryden for his first town meeting in Tompkins County. Prior to reapportionment, Congressman Reed’s district did not include Tompkins County). It is no surprise that hydrofracking was at the top of constituent’s concerns. Other issues discussed included the Congressman’s positions or gun control, Violence Against Women and the Defense of Marriage Act, Social Security, and hydrilla control among some others.
Summary by Marie McRae:
Reed has a place on Keuka Lake – says he wants to preserve the area’s environment. Said he has written to Cuomo about exempting the “Finger Lakes area” from drilling not (he stressed this) because of water pollution/environmental threat, but because it would disrupt wine making and other economic/tourist attractions.
There are 700,000 people in the district – Jamestown to Corning.
He does not want the Feds to regulate drilling – but said the EPA may have a role in some interstate issues – very adamant about state’s rights and local governmental rights to regulate.
He stated that he “has always been a supporter of home rule in NY”.
He believes that we can get to renewables through the nat gas bridge – when pressed on how and when he had no answer.
He supports the export of nat gas – put out a theory/idea that we could tax the foreign end users of the gas so that with that money the US could rebuild infrastructure.
On the subject of alternative energy he brought up using highway right-of-way acres (he said 100 million acres in US) to grow biomass. Asked about legalizing hemp production he said he might consider that.
He supported the Violence Against Women act.
He is strong supporter of 2nd amendment – would NOT support an outright ban of any weapon – thinks NY law is wrong on this – wants to ID people with mental health issues and would empower teachers and mental health workers to report without fear of retaliation – he wants people to have guns.
He supports Citizens United – said if we change that then we have to abolish contributions to/from non-profits, unions, etc.
When asked about Social Security and how to “save” it he was vague about any action. He is opposed to taking the cap off of income (making the rich pay in more) because he believes then we would just pay out more (take the cap off the pay-outs).
Asked about DOMA and SS benefits he was vague and asked how to deal with the diversity of state laws if marriage equality was enacted at federal level.
Again, this goes back to his belief in state’s right to regulate.