Days after his restaurant was named the ‘Best New Restaurant‘ in the U.S., owner and chef Christopher Bates spoke out against the gas storage project, which had been a major headline around Seneca Lake for several years.
His restaurant, which rose to national acclaim during the voting process serves wins from local wineries and vineyards throughout the Finger Lakes. These wineries, according to several grassroots organizations — are threatened by Crestwood’s proposed project in Reading.
“When we returned [to the Finger Lakes] three years ago, we opened FLX Wienery in Dundee, and have been able to bring a lot of attention to the region in national press. Most recently, we have opened FLX Table in Geneva, and have been part of the city’s economic development plan that is taking the future of tourism as a serious economic factor,” said FLX Table Chef/Owner & Master Sommelier Christopher Bates.
“This approach has created a very solid plan for economic growth that has no limit, based on creating an industry and preserving our resources, not destroying them. Gas storage, landfill, fracking are all the opposite. They take and destroy our resources, and once used, simply leave our community drained, with nothing left to build future economic stimulation on.”
Finger Lakes Wine Country is continuing to prosper and grow, with local businesses gaining national and international recognition.
“The local businesses in the Finger Lakes are earning the recognition they deserve, and we applaud F.L.X. Table for achieving the tremendous honor of Best New Restaurant in the US,” said Gas Free Seneca President, Joseph Campbell. “In light of this victory, Gas Free Seneca is calling on Governor Cuomo to protect the region and allow it to continue to contribute to the State’s economy by producing some of the nation’s finest foods and wines. It is time to choose Finger Lakes families and successful small businesses over a Texas-based corporation with a bad track record. Deny Crestwood’s proposal to store explosive liquid petroleum gas in salt caverns beneath Seneca Lake.”
“As proud residents of Montour Falls, we strongly oppose this, and believe that we can build a stronger economic future by preserving our environment and keeping our natural resources clean and our residents’ safe,” concluded Bates. “We continue to look for spaces for our future endeavors, and Montour is our next big target, as we believe the town has incredible potential to be a tourist destination, and that an economy based on hospitality is smarter and longer term.”
Crestwood, a Texas-based corporation, is seeking to store liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in salt caverns along the shores of Seneca Lake. 32 municipalities, including major towns, cities, and villages throughout the region representing 1.2 million New York oppose the project, as it could negatively impact the regional wine and tourist industry. Multiple protests, events, and trips to Albany have been made by opponents to continue fighting the project. They have called for New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take action on the matter.