MDN Weekly Update – Jan 8, 2012: Time to Sue in NY?

poll resultsThe most recent MDN poll has been active since Dec. 18th. We wanted to know more about the current audience who visits and reads MDN—thank you for voting! Here’s what we found out about the main purpose for your visits to MDN: 

Which term best describes you and your *primary* reason for visiting MDN?

Landowner (56%, 344 Votes)
Work for energy/related company (16%, 97 Votes)
Other (10%, 62 Votes)
Job seeker (8%, 46 Votes)
Work for non-energy company (6%, 37 Votes)
Environmentalist (3%, 18 Votes)
Work for government (1%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 613

This Week’s Poll: Sue NY?

Word leaked this past week, via the Gannett news service, that new legislation is about to be introduced into the New York Assembly that would further delay the beginning of hydraulic fracturing until June 2013, another year and a half from now (see this MDN story). In case the casual observer thought New York was just being extra careful and doing lots of homework before allowing shale gas drilling, this latest initiative exposes these ongoing delay efforts for what they are: an attempt to stop horizontal drilling, forever. Extremists who oppose drilling will not change their minds—they will only accept no drilling. They aren’t interested in safe drilling. Another delay like this one further helps them marshal and organize to prevent fracking from ever happening in New York.

Also this past week, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo was due to mention fracking in his State of the State speech. It was a short, bland, generic two paragraphs in his prepared remarks. But when he delivered the speech, he chose to leave it out (see this MDN story). A sign of the governor’s caving support for drilling?

MDN said the following at the end of the story on new legislation about to be introduced in the Assembly:

MDN’s view: As a New York resident, I am distressed at the ongoing delays. Fracking is safe when done right, and there’s no reason to further delay its introduction to New York. It’s obvious that Joe Martens, Commissioner of the DEC, is intentionally delaying its introduction so that opposition, like this new legislation, has time to organize and eventually kill drilling outright. Since new drilling rules will not be released any time soon, it’s time for landowners and non-landowners who support drilling to unite and litigate. If it’s going to take years anyway, better to start the process now using the law, which is on our side, to force the state to stop violating our property rights.

What do you think? Humor me here: Assume I am right and that the game plan is to delay drilling in NY long enough to kill it permanently. Should landowners who want to lease their land, and business owners who would see their business revenues increase, and job seekers who would get a job in the drilling industry, and government officials who would see boatloads of new tax revenue, and non-landowners (like MDN) who are tired of their neighbors’ property rights being violated, band together and sue the state to force the issue? Is it now time to litigate? Register your vote on the right-hand side of any page.

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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