NY Towns Ban All Drilling, Not Just Horizontal Fracking

throw baby out with bathwaterResidents who live in New York townships that can’t seem to wait to ban drilling should be aware of something. These bans are bans of all gas drilling, not just horizontal hydraulic fracturing. That’s what residents in Enfield (Tompkins County), NY found out on Wednesday at a meeting with the town attorney. The Enfield town board plans to vote to enact a one-year moratorium in late April or early May, and the moratorium is on vertical as well as horizontal gas well drilling.

Residents got answers from town attorney Guy Krogh on Wednesday evening about a proposed one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and a possible outright ban.

The town board voted in February to move forward with a moratorium on the drilling process used for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale rock formation so it has time to shore up the town’s legal protections.

On Wednesday, Krogh summarized the intent of the draft legislation he authored, which used other towns’ moratoriums and bans as a model.

"It’s essentially a temporary ban on three components of the gas industry — exploration, extraction and support activities like trucking yards related to drilling — and it will last for one year," he said. "This gives the town time to put in place legislation to ensure continued vitality of town resources."

Krogh agreed with Newfield Supervisor Richard Driscoll that it’s important the town have a time line for steps to protect the town at the outset of a moratorium, so that in a year actions like adopting road-use laws could be finished.

Board member Debbie Teeter said she was upset that the moratorium would temporarily ban all gas drilling, not just hydraulic fracturing. "This is not what I expected the law to be," she said.

Krogh explained that to avoid the risk that courts will view a ban on just hydraulic fracturing as an attempt to regulate the mining industry, which is reserved for the state, the law is written to ban all oil and gas mining.

"You run a different set of risks if you attempt to ban only a certain mining process," Krogh said. "But that’s an open question that should be explored: Can we just ban hydrofracking or do you have to ban all gas wells?"*

Vertical gas well drilling in upstate New York has been going on for decades. In attempt to stop horizontal fracking, towns are now “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” Such is the mindset of environmental extremists.

*Elmira Star-Gazette (Mar 1, 2012) – Enfield addresses gas drilling ban

  • Anonymous

    The moratorium being considered in my town to keep my land safe is on all drilling and other activity related to it in order to allow time for our town to protect itself via an aquifer study, site plan review, comprehensive plan update, and road preservation law, that all take time.  Amazingly, our Town Board acts genuinely surprised that this was going to be such a big thing coming down the pike.  They need time to protect the residents and landowners they serve…ALL of them.  

    Wow, Jim, do you yell “Fire!” in theaters too?  

  • Anonymous

    WOW! Do these anti extremists realize what will happen if ALL gas drilling is stopped for a year or more? Hope they have lots of firewood to heat their homes.

  • Anonymous

    I heat with pellets…thank you for your concern.

  • Anonymous

    Pellets work for you — good!  But I’m sure that thousands, if not millions, of people depend on natural gas!

  • Anonymous

    There’s plenty of natural gas coming out of the ground in this country…ours can stay there until it’s absolutely necessary to bring it up.  We won’t be running out any time soon.  Why are you fear mongering?

    The longer it’s there, the longer America has the promise of energy under its soil.  The quicker they bring it up, the faster they will sell it to India and China…what’s patriotic about that?  Nationalize it…now THAT’S patriotic.  

  • Anonymous

    If they stop all drilling there won’t be plenty of gas coming out of the ground. There won’t be any gas at all. And just why do you think it’s okay to drill in somebody else’s backyard and not in yours. I am not the fear mongerer. I am not afraid of drilling. It is safe and responsible and would be a big boon to our economy. 

  • Anonymous

    Includeds a chemical obtained from pertroleum obtained from drilling.

  • Anonymous

    Keep you safe from what?? We don’t contaminate your ground or what is beneath it. This is foolish. This is the only place I can ever remember having this problem in my oilfield career. It seems to me that the biggest problem is that no one here knows anything about drilling, or a drilling rig, or what we do. The second big problem I see is all the tree hugging greenies. Stupid Stupid people everywhere up here. I was using the word ignorant until I came to realize you didn’t want to see that we were causing you no harm. And what is going on with this adopt a road thing? I have never been to a place and drilled where all of the people actually seemed to think the gas industry owed them everything. Your roads were junk when we got here. They would have most likely fixed them anyway but now they will probably just do a second rate job and destroy them on purpose. I know I would. How would anyone on the board of your town even know what questions to ask? Did they google drilling?  Most people I have met from that area and here in NE PA still think Marcellus is a drilling company and tell me they can’t wait for them to leave. All of the bad things you hear about the gas industry and the oil field in general are always isolated incidents even if they ever occurred at all. You are the mighty people of your town are gonna feel pretty dumb in a couple of years when natural gas is 10 bucks a cbf and gas for your vehicle is 5.00+ a gallon for the forseeable future. Say whatever smart comments you want as it is no skin off my back. The more it costs the more I make. If we stop drilling here we will go somewhere else and when the prices skyrocket we will come back and take it. And oh yes we can take it.

  • Anonymous

    Well, let’s see.  How about if a giant wind mill corporation came through and insisted that everyone have a giant windmill in their back yard.  Why would it be okay for me to have one and for you NOT to take on that burden?  Oh…right…because there are laws that protect you from that.

  • Anonymous

    That statement is an outright lie.

  • Anonymous

     So what are you saying about windmills? Do you really want that ugly rig in your backyard? Do you know how nasty they sound, or how huge and ugly they really are? Not to mention that it will take thousands of them to make any significant power. I bet not!! but this is what your fighting about. Don’t you think that drilling a mile under ground makes more sense? The NG companies are selling most of the gas collected overseas because the foreigners “want it”. They also know its the most efficient fuel to have also. It’s the spoiled uneducated brats like you that can’t see the advantages of buying it here, and keeping the money here. Your just fine feeding the OPEC/ Chavez machine because you don’t have to personally see the Oil rigs out of your Subaru window, right? I do know that all you Anti’s will be lined up for the BIG savings when NG finally overtakes Oil. It will happen in your lifetime.What are you saying now that Gas is $4.00 per gallon? Are you fine with being raped at the pump every week? I hope Gas goes to $10.00 per gallon, then you’ll be pointing your finger somewhere else.As far as getting NG out of the ground,if we changed our vehicles over to NG, and our homes, and run all the commercial and municipalities ,ETC  we would need to store it and have emergency reserves on hand. This is exactly what this country needs to prosper, yes in your backyard and mine. Grow up, wake up and face the future, we’ll have no choice in the end, your fighting a losing battle that is costing us our energy independence because of your ignorance. There are billions of dollars under the ground and every drop will get extracted. They will either work with you or run you over to get you out of the way.

  • Anonymous

    That is exactly right. Just let them hold their silly little meetings. It is gonna happen.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, negative. Read. Also maybe stop being so selfish. Unless you people live in a hollowed out log and feed on grubs your life is impacted in a huge way every day of your life by the oilfield. Everything plastic was made with a pertroleum product. Try to take all that out of your life for a day. Drilling takes place on all corners of the globe and it will take place in your town soon enough. You people are not so special as to not have to see the drilling rigs from your homes. Not every Texan loves looking out the window and seeing a drilling rig either, but they know they are needed and they know in a short enough amount of time they will be gone.