On January 4, newly inaugurated Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated Joe Martens to head up the all-important (to Marcellus Shale drilling in NY anyway), State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC is charged with drafting drilling regulations, and once in place, overseeing those regulations. Joe Martens’ nomination to head the DEC was viewed by most who support drilling as a bad omen. Why? Let’s take a look at who Joe Martens is, and what he has said on the topic of shale gas drilling in New York.
Since 1995 Joe has worked for the Open Space Institute (OSI), first as executive vice president and later as its president. The OSI buys private land in states along the East Coast of the U.S. to keep it from being developed. As it’s name implies, it wants to keep large tracts of open spaces undeveloped and pristine. Over 100,000 acres in New York State alone have been “protected” by the OSI. Most of the OSI’s land acquisitions and easements (laws to protect land they don’t actually buy but control) have come under Joe Martens’ reign as president.