Many landowners in the Broome County, NY area who signed gas leases years ago are now receiving letters from the energy companies holding those leases that the landowner is “locked in” to the terms of the lease even though the original term has now expired. Why? The legal term is “force majeure,” which roughly means “due to circumstances beyond our control—the fact that New York State continues to prevent drilling—you have to stick with us for a while longer.” Because this involves contracts and interpretation of the terms of those contracts, it’s now in the hands of lawyers, or heading in that direction.
MDN received the following email from the Joint Landowner Coalition of New York, offering free bus rides to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) hearings scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 22 in Liberty, NY. Pickup locations include Binghamton, Windsor and Deposit, NY. The hearings are to accept public comments on the DRBC’s draft regulations that will govern drilling in the Marcellus Shale within DRBC-controlled areas. The DRBC adds an extra layer of regulation for drilling within watershed areas as part of it’s charter to protect water supplies. As Dan Fitzsimmons points out, it’s important for those who support drilling to make their voices heard at the DRBC hearings.