Drilling in the Marcellus Shale in New York State has been on hold now for more than two years. Last year, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) issued new draft guidelines for drilling, but fierce opposition arose from some, including powerful people in the state like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and so the DEC retreated from its plan to move forward. Then-Gov. David Paterson issued an executive order late last year placing a moratorium on drilling until June 1 of this year to give the DEC more time.
Since the Paterson moratorium went into effect, New York has installed a new governor (Andrew Cuomo), and a new head of the DEC (Joe Martens). As MDN has chronicled, Mr. Martens was a loud voice against drilling before he was appointed to head the DEC (see here). He now seems to be singing a different tune and has made noises about moving forward with drilling. A few weeks ago in an interview with National Public Radio, he said that the new Marcellus Shale drilling regulations should be ready sometime “this summer,” giving new hope to landowners in the state.