New York State is drama central when it comes to whether or not shale drilling will happen. The big drama is whether the dithering Andrew Cuomo will finally make a decision and stick to it—he’s been called “Hamlet on the Shale” for his indecisiveness by no less than the New York Times. The second biggest drilling-related drama concerns where drilling will happen and whether or not local municipalities can control it. A pair of court cases heads for a hearing in March to help determine that.
As MDN has covered ad nauseam in the past, the town of Dryden (in Tompkins County) and Middlefield (in Otsego County) were sued to overturn their bans on the practice of hydraulic fracturing. Those court cases will be heard in March at the Appellate Court level. The New York State Association of Towns filed an “Amicus Brief” (“friend of the court” brief) supporting the two towns’ right to ban fracking. However, a group of towns in the Southern Tier of New York have filed their own letter with the Appellate Court that says in essence, “Wait a minute, NYSAT doesn’t speak for us!”