IOGA NY Strongly Worded Letter to DEC Commissioner Martens

closed for businessThe Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York (IOGA NY), after studying the new draft drilling rules issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wrote a letter to DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on September 2 stating that the new rules, as written, are not acceptable if the state wants there to be any shale gas drilling. A copy of the 15-page letter with attachments (31 pages total) was obtained by Gannett News and can be downloaded below.

Brad Gill, executive director of IOGA NY, sent the letter. He’s also a member of the DEC’s Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel (see this MDN story). In the letter he outlines a number of specific objections to the new drilling rules, also called the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS). Mr. Gill’s comments are reasoned, well thought-out and backed up with specific references, examples and recommendations. Take the time to read it for yourself.

Mr. Gill says in his letter that the new drilling rules as written mean it will cost drillers an additional $1 million per bore hole to drill in New York, when and if shale gas drilling begins, and with more favorable economics in other places, like Pennsylvania and Ohio, and because of a scarcity of drilling rig equipment, drillers will decide to drill elsewhere. Gill said the rules as proposed “do not send the signal that New York is ‘open for business.’” He also said that unless some of the SGEIS rules are changed, New York will not be competitive with other states and drilling will not happen in the state to any large degree.

The inescapable conclusion one draws in reading Mr. Gill’s letter is that the drilling rules as put forward by Joe Martens’ DEC are designed to keep the drilling industry out of New York, rather than to attract and encourage it.

*Elmira Star-Gazette (Nov 7, 2011) – Gas group criticizes New York’s proposed drilling rules