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

  • Drill, Safely, Drill — NY Shal

    Jim — you’re not going to credit or link your source on this because it’s Gannett?

  • Anonymous

    Please note that these objections to the currently proposed SGEIS is for fracking with WATER. There are no restrictions in the current moratorium to prevent the  ‘green’ system of fracking with LPG [propane] which qualifies under the older GEIS .  This proprietary system is owned by Gasfrac Energy Services Inc.[Calgary , Canada ] and Chevron [ owns the gelling patents in the U.S. ; leased to Gasfrac ] . Gasfrac is a small but rapidly growing company that is winning over the conservative drilling industry. It recently signed a three year contract to do the fracking for Husky Oil. With new equipment sets for fracking ready for delivery, the company is poised to move into the Marcellus if a contract with a deep pocket gas driller can be negotiated. Land owners could benefit  in two ways. Drilling could start sooner and there is substantial data to support the conclusion that fracking with LPG  creates higher producing ,longer lasting reservoirs per well. This means larger royalty checks .

  • Anonymous

    I guess the industry (and landowners) is on to the Andy & Joe show. This “aw shucks” act they are trying to perpetrate against the industry and NY Landowners has been easily uncovered and shown for what it really is – An ill conceived attempt to stop drilling in the MS in NY. Their plan – “We’ll make the rules so stringent they won’t WANT to drill here, then when anyone asks we’ll just blame the industry that doesn’t want to play by the rules” Really guys this is the best you can do. I see a lawsuit coming. NY Landowners must unite. These politicians are standing in the way of our right to utilize a natural resource which lies under our land. I think the industry should unite with it’s landowners and sue the state for lost revenue. It is up to you Gov. Cuomo what are you going to do. Are you a “get it done” guy? We shall see but the clock is ticking, and with every tick the state loses millions in tax revenue, jobs for the unemployed, and prosperity for the region. . .tick tock tick tock.

  • Anonymous

    “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.”

    Mr. Gill is the head of the NY O&G lobby. Of course, he wants it both ways, first bragging about how NYS will put in place the strictest safety regulations of any state, then claiming these same regulations are not “competitive”. Safety be damned. 

    The only inescapable conclusion is that he is doing his job, like any good corporate hack. .

  • A fair point! I have no inherent dislike of Gannett, and they were the ones who got their hands on the letter. And since they are the ones to break the news, they certainly deserve reference. So I’ve added the link at the bottom of the story.

  • Anonymous

    Mr Marten is the Director of the DEC.  What part of Environmental Conservation don’t you understand?  Clearly his primary responsibility is to protect public health and the environment.  It is a grave historic accident that the Division of Mineral Resources, with principle oversight of drilling, was incorporated into the DEC.  You don’t hear Bradley Field (Director of DMN) say this.

    Industry hailed the SGEIS as ushering-in the best regulations in the country when it served their purpose for propaganda.  Now that the reality is imminent, they say they would perfer something cheaper and less restrictive.

    Most likely that projected $1 million costs per well for folllowing the proposed SGEIS recommendations is a gross exaggeration.  Typically industry decries the cost of regulation before hand to try and decrease their cost — and our protection.  However once codified, they “miraculously” find ways to accomplish it at costs far below that they had claimed.