The standard operating procedure for groups opposed to Marcellus Shale drilling in New York State is to organize protests. The protests in Albany and other locations have been small in numbers, but those opposed have been “loud” in their opposition. Supporters of drilling, on the other hand, are taking a different approach. Instead of protest rallies, they arrange private meetings and go for small group discussions. That strategy was on display Wednesday in Albany:
After groups opposing hydraulic fracturing swarmed Albany three times in the past two months, the natural gas industry got its day at the Capitol on Wednesday.
About 50 members of industry and other pro-gas groups met with lawmakers on the Legislature’s environmental conservation committees, urging them to stand back and let the state Department of Environmental Conservation complete its review of permitting guidelines for hydrofracking…
The Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York, a trade group representing oil and gas producers, organized Wednesday’s lobbying effort. The day was free of any sort of public rally, instead focusing on private meetings with officials.
The groups met with a number of lawmakers, including Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, who chairs the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee. They also met with staff members from the office of Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, D-Suffolk County, who heads the Assembly’s environmental panel.
When asked Wednesday about the industry’s frustration with the state’s moratorium, Gov. Andrew Cuomo stressed patience.
"Don’t be frustrated," Cuomo said. "Let’s get the facts. Let’s get the report, and then we’ll make a decision."*
*Elmira Star-Gazette (May 11, 2011) – Gas-drilling advocates present their case in Albany