MDN Weekly Update – Jun 5, 2011

poll resultsThank you to those who voted in last week’s online poll. Here are the results:

Do you think burning fossil fuels like natural gas causes dangerously high levels of global warming?

No (67%, 133 Votes)
Yes (26%, 52 Votes)
I don’t know (7%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 200

This Week’s Poll

I have made no secret that I think New York’s Commissioner of the DEC, the man in charge of the agency that oversees all oil and gas drilling in NY—Joe Martens—is mostly on the side of anti-drilling. I’m told to “tone it down Jim, don’t rock the boat, we have to work with this guy” with regard to Martens—yet I have to call them like I see them. For years as president of the Open Space Institute his job, his life’s mission, has been to take as much land out of circulation from any kind of development (including drilling) as possible. And his on-the-record statements as recently as last year (prior to his job at the DEC) have Mr. Martens stating he wants to go very, very slow with regard to allowing drilling in New York (see MDN’s original profile of him here). His more recent statements showing his go-slow approach led me to predict that Marcellus drilling in New York will not begin until 2012 at the earliest (see MDN’s prediction here).

Mr. Martens is clearly dragging his feet with regard to release of the new draft Marcellus drilling regulations. But his boss, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, gave him a little motivation this past week—telling the DEC to have the new draft regulations ready by July 1st (see the MDN story here). A “kick in the pants” if you will. Ouch. Can’t have made Mr. Martens very happy. As strongly as he opposes drilling (in my opinion), he also wants to keep his job and make the boss happy. If indeed the new draft regulations are ready in early July, does that move the timetable up and might drilling permits be issued sooner rather than later? A good question. I would like to know what you think. So this week’s poll question:

When do you think Marcellus Shale drilling in New York State will begin?

Will it be this year? Next year? Never? Please note: This is not when you hope it will begin, but when you think it actually will begin. Go to any page on the website and click to vote on the right-hand side of the page in this week’s poll. I’ll report the results next week.

Below you’ll find the “top 5” lists and this week’s calendar listings.

Happy reading,
Jim Willis, Editor

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