The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY), an organization representing 77,000 landowners with over 1 million acres, issued an extensive update late yesterday on: the status of their lawsuit (which is proceeding); their need for fundraising to finance the lawsuit; and the rationale/strategy for the lawsuit. Even though recent comments by Gov. Cuomo offer a “tease” that he may soon approve fracking, the JLCNY says it’s moving forward with the lawsuit anyway, essentially telling Cuomo “we’ll believe it when we see it.”
Landowners in NY have had too many broken promises and too much double-speak from Albany politicians (see NY Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo: Fracking Friend or Foe?). Through the JLCNY, landowners are now acting to protect their Constitutional property rights. It seems Cuomo, Lupardo and other Democrats have miscalculated when it comes to NY landowners and they will now pay the political and economic price. Here’s the entire update from the JLCNY, worth the read:
On Monday, supervisors for Forward Township (Allegheny County), PA unanimously approved what is believed to be the first (and perhaps an illegal) zoning ordinance targeting and extensively regulating both gathering and transmission pipelines in the township. Sunoco is building a low-pressure liquid-gas transmission pipeline from a processing plant in Houston, Washington County that passes through about 275 properties in Forward to a distribution point in Delmont, Westmoreland County.
The town solicitor has said existing pipelines are not affected by the new ordinance. Problem is, interstate transmission lines are regulated by the federal government, and smaller gathering pipelines are regulated by the state. Pipelines are not regulated by municipalities. A lawyer at Babst Calland makes this observation on the ShaleEnergyLawBlog.com:
Mainstream media sources, like Bloomberg, often tip their hand as to which way they think the wind is blowing on an issue. You just have to take time to observe. For example, someone at Bloomberg believes New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is about to decide in favor of fracking. How do we know they think that? Because they run hit pieces that try to scare readers as a tactic to “stir-up the natives” so they’ll make noise.
The latest stir-up-the-natives-against-fracking hit piece from Bloomberg is on the topic of compulsory integration. If 60% of your neighbors sign a lease in New York, and fracking is allowed, and if your property is in a drilling unit (640 acres or one square mile), your land may be included in the fracking operation. Nothing would be built on top of your land, but drilling may be done under it—a mile or more down—even if you don’t want it. Bloomberg found an anti-driller—someone who has bought the lies from the anti-drilling left hook, line and sinker—and they’ve milked it (or should we say slaughtered it) for all it’s worth…
Energy analyst Richard Zeits, writing on the Seeking Alpha website, turns his attention to the recently announced Bluegrass Pipeline which will transport natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Marcellus/Utica region to the Gulf Coast for processing (see Williams, Boardwalk Announce Marcellus-to-Gulf Coast NGL Pipeline for background and MDN’s analysis). Zeits begins his deep dive on the Bluegrass (and the wider issue of NGLs) this way:
In a pathetic and transparent attempt to tie the miracle of hydraulic fracturing (i.e. “fracking”) to the 1970s issue of chemical contamination at Love Canal in Niagara Falls, NY, anti-drillers in Maryland held a protest rally yesterday in the state capitol of Annapolis. The featured speaker at the rally was Lois Gibbs, the mom who made Love Canal a household name in the 1970s. Her actions indirectly led to the eventual creation of the EPA Superfund program. Just like Yoko Ono and the manifestly untalented Sean Lenon, she’s back for her second 15 minutes of fame and believes she can grab it by riding the coattails of the fracking issue.
Of course, fracking doesn’t contaminate and has nothing whatever to do with the kind of chemical contamination that was found in the Love Canal toxic waste dump—but confusion, obfuscation and deceit is a favorite tactic of the environmentalist left…
Pennsylvania Democrat State Rep. Greg Vitali introduced a bill last week (H.B. 950, full copy embedded below) that would permanently ban the leasing of any additional state land for Marcellus Shale gas drilling.
Here’s Vitali’s announcement about the bill, with his reasons for introducing it (complete with obligatory eco-nut language like “old growth forests” and “fragile ecosystems”):
In the ongoing spat between Range Resources and Robinson Township (Washington County), PA, yesterday Range filed an appeal of Robinson’s rejection of two drilling permits Range sought last year. Robinson Township officials say Range didn’t provide a sound study (how drilling noise will affect the area) and did not provide a site plan that identifies nearby buildings and structures.
Range says they’ve provided everything they need to provide legally, so they’re pushing forward with asking a judge to overturn the rejections…
MDN friend Phelim McAleer will be on hand at the Philadelphia premiere screening of his marvelous new documentary FrackNation on April 10 at the Bryn Mawr Film Insititute. The Delaware Valley Marcellus Association (DVMA) is sponsoring the screening.
The announcement (and details for how you can attend), from the DVMA: