Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fracking Whores Part II

The Ithaca Journal has an article about the hydrofracking meeting at the Brooktondale Community Center.

In it there is a strange sense of dissemination on the part of Councilpersons Hoyt, Adams, and McDonald, as if they exist in  a sphere detached from social cause and effect. 

On being asked about a conflict of interest in supporting a resolution to offer no impediments to fracking in Caroline, McDonald answered he did not see a conflict of interest in his actions, but he would look into it.  What exactly is he going to look into?  That he has a gas lease, and that  he supports a measure to prevent any ban on fracking? 

It appears he needs to find the connecting thread where a conflict may exist.  But where? In his mind, in his soul, in the spheres up high where motivations become actions,  but are often shrouded in a concealing mist?  We don't want to be uncharitable, and venture to say he is not being truthful?  Something else must be wrong.  He needs to solve a mystery.

Linda Adams, who works for a landowners coalition that helps secure gas leases, also sees no conflict at all in her support of the ban.  She is quoted:

"for the first time in their life (they) are not signing a gas company lease, but something that the community put together, that the landowners had drafted for their purposes, not the industry,"

She herself has not signed a gas lease, she explained, but she helps others to do so.  From what motivation?  Through the goodness of her heart?  From a firm and unwavering stance for landowner rights?  From remuneration from the coalition?  We have to wonder why, and scratch our heads as we ponder the purported lack of connection between her support of the ban and her work at getting advantageous gas leases for her clients.  She has some homework to do.  She too needs to roll up her sleeves, sit at her kitchen table, and do some old fashioned connect the dots.

But Peter Hoyt's disjunction is perhaps the most elegant.  There is simply a disconnect, pure and simple. He did not see a conflict.  In fact, he never though of it.  He is quoted:

"A conflict of interest never occurred to me, but it was mentioned here tonight and I think it is a legitimate observation. I'm kind of surprised I didn't think of it" 

When there was laughter in the room, he responded:  "Guys, I'm just telling you the truth, OK?"

He is kind of surprised he didn't think about it.  Indeed, the admission is shocking.  It either shows a lack of fundamental thinking on issues that impact him and us, or some kind of radical cleavage between the parts of his life, his public role and his private interests, that he has kept so far apart he did not even see that they may be in conflict until that very moment.  If this is so, he is a man of rare psychological gifts.  He can live two, or more lives of very different motivations at one time.  Good thing he attended the meeting.  He may have missed a vital piece of self-knowledge.  He may have lost he chance to connect those pesky dots of his varied motivations.

So we are thankful that Peter Hoyt attended the meeting. He was given a boon to take home with him.  There may be a conflict!  He didn't know.  He is telling us the truth.  Maybe he will ponder it further and reach deeper conclusions.

For now, the ban on the ban on fracking had been tabled for a later town meeting.  I suggest it gets moved from the table, taken out in the yard, and buried for good.

No comments:

Post a Comment