continued Steck opposed hydrofracking and said he does not support the claims it would create jobs.
“I do not accept the argument that there is any economic benefit from hydrofracking,” Steck said. “The people that do the drilling come in from out of state, they’re here temporarily. It doesn’t create any jobs.”
Nichols also opposed it said the state should focus on renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and not hydrofracking. Steck said more jobs would be created through green energy initiatives than hydrofracking.
Whalen though supported hydrofracking if it can be done safely.
“Our state has 800,000 unemployed people … and I just think that hydrofracking is something that we should seriously consider if we can regulate it and supervise it safely so that we protect our natural ground water and environment,” Whalen said. “[Hydrofracking] has been proven to actually create jobs in Pennsylvania, and it has pumped over $1 million into the Pennsylvania economy.”
Bringing jobs to region
To create jobs in the district, Whalen said new companies should be rewarded with tax incentives. For existing businesses, she said tax incentives should be given for creating new jobs and a $5,000 credit should be given for taking someone off the unemployment or hiring a veteran.
Also, she would probe phasing out the corporate franchise tax for manufacturing and a 50 percent decrease on its tax rate.
“Manufacturing has suffered a huge decline in upstate New York over the last 10 years and we still have a chance at resurging with manufacturing,” she said.
Landry said the district should continue to focus on its research manufacturing bases, which has proved fruitful for creating jobs.
“Research bases are allowing us to continue with our manufacturing,” Landry said. “We are seeing that in Schenectady County with GE … so I think we need to build upon what we have.”