Three Upstate Landowners on New York City Public Radio Discuss Drilling in the Marcellus

An interesting radio segment from WNYC Public Radio. Leonard Lopate conducted an interview with three Upstate landowners. From the program description:

We’ll look into the controversy over drilling for natural gas in Marcellus shale in Upstate New York, and discuss the challenges landowners face when deciding whether to lease their land to gas companies, the role of landowners coalitions, and how public officials are managing the drilling already occurring in their towns. We’ll speak with Mark Dunau, organic farmer from Delaware County; Jim Bays, Supervisor of the Town of Smyrna, in Chenango County; and Abby Tamber, steering committee member of the Central New York Landowners Coalition.*

While Mr. Dunau is clearly anti-drilling and Mr. Bays is somewhat anti-drilling, Ms. Tamber does a good job of representing local landowner groups and the concerns of landowners. The questions by the host are pretty good, and as far as public radio goes, this is about as fair and balanced as it gets. Overall, a B+ from MDN. Worth listening to as it does discuss some very important issues for landowners. Embedded player below—give it a listen! The segment is 34 minutes in length.

*WNYC (Mar 23) – The Lenoard Lopate Show

Lots of Marcellus Leases Signed in “Shallow” Yates and Schuyler Counties in NY

At a recent presentation in Penn Yan and Watkins Glen, NY, Tony Ingraffea, professor at Cornell University, and Peter Landre, director of Yates County Cornell Cooperative Extension, said Yates and Schuyler Counties (NY) are not “ideal” for drilling in the Marcellus Shale because the shale deposit in those counties is relatively shallow. Even so, energy companies have signed a number of leases:

There are currently 1,342 signed gas leases in Yates County, from 2005 to 2009.  Colby Peterson, Yates County Soil and Water Conservation District technician, said the leases make up 20 percent, or 44,076 acres, of the acres in Yates County.

According to Lloyd Wetherbee, Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District technician, there are up to 50,000 acres leased in Schuyler, or 13 percent of the land in the county. Wetherbee said this equals between 1,600 to 1,700 leased parcels.*

*Dundee The Observer Review (Mar 23) – Marcellus Shale drilling: ‘Not ideal’ here