NY DEC Com. Martens Says No NY Fracking Until 2015 Earliest

litigationIn what is sure to be a bitter disappointment to New York’s landowners, Dept. of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said yesterday in testimony to lawmakers that he’s not going to issue any permits for shale drilling before 2015. Unless, of course, he’s forced to by a court (see Norse Energy Sues Gov. Cuomo to Force Release of Fracking Regs). Martens’ comments came as he gave testimony about the DEC’s budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on April 1st. Martens is not including anything in the DEC budget for shale drilling oversight and told lawmakers it would be “extremely unlikely” that permits would be issued before the end of March 2015, hence no need to bulk up his budget for it.

Are we surprised? Not really. The decision of whether or not to allow fracking in New York has been a political and not a scientific one for a long time now–we’d say for years. Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to push off the decision–not Health Commissioner Nirav Shah, not Joe Martens, but Cuomo. Shah and Martens are just foot soldiers that do their master’s bidding. This latest revelation of no fracking until 2015 further validates landowners’ resolve in pushing forward with lawsuits on various aspects of the drilling issue at various levels of the court system. It’s now obvious we will have to litigate for our freedoms–or loose them forever…

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