MDN Weekly Update – Oct 30, 2011: Should NY Landowners Sue the DEC?

poll resultsA shock result from this past week’s poll, which had the second highest number of voters ever, and the most voters in a single seven day period. It appears a majority who read MDN don’t agree with MDN editor Jim Willis that the EPA should not be in the business of regulating that which the states currently have the right, under the U.S. Constitution, to regulate themselves. A disappointment to see so many people willing to throw away their hard-earned rights.

Should fracking wastewater be regulated by the federal EPA?

Yes (62%, 230 Votes)
No (35%, 129 Votes)
Not sure (3%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 372

Is it time for NY landowners to sue the DEC to allow fracking?

This past week brought distressing news for landowners (and energy companies) in New York who have already waited nearly four years for drilling to begin in the state. The state’s Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Joe Martens, sent a loud and clear signal that the DEC will not issue permits for shale gas drilling in 2012 (see this MDN story). He blames the advisory panel he appointed who in turn blame various state agencies, other than the DEC, whom they say need to provide detailed analyses of how much a commencement in drilling will affect their budgets and manpower. This is the first time MDN has heard of such a demand.

It’s clear to MDN that Joe Martens is not interested in seeing drilling happen in the state any time soon. MDN believes the longer it takes to commence drilling, the more likely it won’t happen at all, and people like Joe Martens (and the mostly anti-drilling members of his advisory commission) are just fine with that. The issue has been studied to death and it’s now time to begin—yet we have more delays.

So MDN wants to know if New York landowners, and those who support them, are ready to litigate to move the ball down the field. We ask the question, Is it now time to sue the DEC to force them to either issue permits or start paying landowners for loss of their property rights and the revenue they would gain from drilling? It is a big step to be sure, and not lightly taken. But waiting yet another year, or longer, is ludicrous. MDN believes it’s now time for action. What do MDN readers think?

Register your vote on the right side of any page on the website, and leave a comment on this post telling us why you do or do not support litigation in NY.

Below are the most recent “top 5” lists and the calendar of Marcellus related events for the next two weeks.

Happy reading,
Jim Willis, Editor

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