The Washington Times-Herald

Z_CNHI News Service

August 23, 2013

Obama avoids fracking debate in New York

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — President Barack Obama called for reduced reliance on fossil fuels as an energy source and rebuked Republicans for "manufacturing" a crisis over the federal government's budget deficit, during an hour spent taking questions from students at faculty at Binghamton University on Friday.

The president described natural gas as a "finite resource," even as he noted domestic gas and oil production has helped make the nation less dependent on foreign sources of fuel.

Obama also called for stronger energy conservation measures.

“We know that if we design our schools, homes, hospitals more efficiently, that as a country we could cut our power usage by 20, 25, 30 percent with existing technologies and we can put a bunch of folks to work,” he said.

However, he stayed clear of the controversy over hydrofracking, an especially hot topic in the region, which is considered a likely target of the gas industry should the state allow high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing to release gas trapped under layers of shale.

Obama's motorcade was greeted on campus by demonstrators on both sides of the hydrofracking debate. There were far more anti-frackers.

Kelly Branigan, of Middlefield, N.Y., who said she had also protested at Obama's speech in Syracuse the previous night, said she suspects Obama has been supportive of fracking because of what she called bad advice from advisers taking cues from the gas industry.

"Would he move his family next to a compressor station or a gas pad?" she asked. She contends the casings used in drilling are all doomed to fail at some point.

Eddie Rodriguez, of Butternuts, N.Y., an activist who often films such demonstrations, said the protests are designed to show political leaders that "there is a disconnect between the government and the people. The government is not listening to what the people want. The president is promoting fracking, and that's not what we want him to do."

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • A night in Ferguson

    For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald's a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown's shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby.

    August 14, 2014

  • weightloss.jpg The scales of injustice: Weight loss differs between men, women

    You're not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.09.32 PM.png VIDEO: Stars react to Robin Williams' death

    Prior to the premiere of “The Expendables 3” in Los Angeles, several movie stars shared their thoughts on the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo