A new group has formed in New York State with the aim of using a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision as ammunition to sue NY over its ban on hydraulic fracturing. The new group, called Landowner Advocates of New York (LANY), was started by MDN friend Vic Furman. Could this finally be the solution to force Andrew Cuomo to allow fracking?
In June MDN ran a story about a lawsuit decision in a case called Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania (see US Supreme Court Decision Makes Shale Drilling in NY More Likely). The Supremes ruled that a landowner can file a “takings” claim directly in federal court without having to file in state court first. Federal courts are more likely to grant a takings claim. The implications of the case have caused alarm among antis who have abused New York’s state court system to block Constitutional property rights.
Takings lawsuits have been discussed in NY for years among landowners (see our 2014 story, Do “Takings” Lawsuits Stand a Chance for NY Landowners?). It just never seemed there was enough of an appetite to try a years-long case knowing NY’s court system is stacked against landowners–Cuomo appoints the judges to NY’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. We have a rigged “justice” system here in the Empire State.
But the situation in NY has just changed with this Supreme Court case. And now, Vic Furman is organizing an effort to take advantage of that change.
First up, a pair of posts from Vic on the Natural Gas Now website:
Friends, fellow Landowners in the State of New York, including the Upper Delaware River Basin and all supporters of land rights who oppose the theft of our mineral rights by Governor Cuomo; our day in court could happen but getting to court is up to us.
I am Victor Furman, President of Landowner Advocates of New York (LANY) and I ask all landowners unite with me in a quest for justice.
It is possible, thanks to a decision of the Supreme Court of the Unites States or “SCOTUS,” that it is now within our power to seek compensation against the government of New York in Federal Court, for a takings claim against the state. New York State denied our rights to lease our land to access natural gas. This is a new and huge development for all gas coalitions in New York. It could allow us to bypass state court for the first time.
I have conversed with a highly reputed lawyer who will bring a takings claim against New York on our behalf. It is the same law firm that defeated, in Supreme Court, a ban on gas drilling implemented by Binghamton’s ex mayor Matthew Ryan, thrown out on the order of Judge Ferris D. Lebous.
According to a NaturalGasNOW post from June, “the U.S. Supreme Court may have just opened the door to New York landowners for suing Governor Corruptocrat for loss of the mineral rights.” The post cites this summary of what happened at SCOTUS:
A divided U.S. Supreme Court made it easier for landowners to sue for compensation when a government regulation reduces the value of their property, overturning a decades-old precedent that had limited lawsuits in federal court.
Voting 5-4 along ideological lines, the court said Friday that property owners could go straight to a federal judge without first seeking compensation through state proceedings. The decision reversed a 1985 Supreme Court ruling, prompting a sharp dissent from the court’s liberal wing.
So, how can you help? Well, first, please let me know who you are and how you are willing to help. You can learn more about me and how to reach me, here. Second, consider donating to the cause. You can do so easily by going here:
Thank you! Landowners Unite! (1)
And from earlier this week:
We’re off to a good start since my last post and I want to thank the contributors so far for their generosity and commitment to be heard. Some of you have written checks because you don’t go online with your credit cards and I thank you for those checks, too. Landowner Advocates of New York is a registered not-for-profit corporation but no donations by either check or credit card will be deposited until such time as we raise the minimum funds required to launch a lawsuit and resolve our tax status. But, a big “Thank You” in the meantime!
Some very good news in the meantime; I have been invited to speak in Albany on our plight and talk about Landowners Advocates of New York. The date is October 19th and the event will be sponsored by landowner advocate groups from here in New York and across the country. I will soak up this expense as it will be a privilege to represent you.
Make no mistake, Landowners Advocates of New York. is not about me, It is about everyone who has been denied their right to lease their land simply because we live in the most corruptly governed state in the nation.
I don’t know about you but I am tired of the lack of representation in Albany, in the media, and in public. We need voices groomed on our experience since 2008 and who have never quit the fight and have grown because of it. We don’t accept the falsehood that as long as Andrew Cuomo is in office we don’t stand a chance. I am pleased to be one of those voices and to have kept fighting, as many of you have done as well. Defeat is what the powers to be want us to accept, but with your donations we can get the attention of the media and the public!
We have here an opportunity to have a fellow landowner, an attorney who works for one of the best litigation firms in Upstate, New York. His office has successfully won previous cases on this very issue in a New York Supreme Court.
I am not so humble as not to pray for victory or beg for your help. We will get to court on a taking if you send in just $10 for five acres or less, $20 for ten or less, $1 for every acre over $20 or whatever amount you can afford. It is not me you’re supporting; you’re supporting yourself and justice for the New York landowners.
At this time please make all contributions through GoFundMe. Again I Thank You!
Landowners Unite! (2)
Reading between the lines, the real aim of a takings lawsuit is not necessarily to make New York State (i.e. taxpayers) compensate landowners for having blocked drilling and fracking. The real aim is to force the state to relent and allow drilling and fracking.
Does Vic Furman’s name sound familiar to you? It should! Vic has been involved for a number of years with a group called the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY).
We wondered, is LANY a replacement for JLCNY? A part of JLCNY? Is this just Vic by himself? We reached out to Vic and got some answers. This is how Vic responded to our emailed questions:
The group to date has signed up about 50 members.
The mission on LANY is not to respond to anti-drilling rhetoric but to share with the public good news such as the recently announced emission free natural gas power plants (Zero Emission Natural Gas Here, Do Fractivists Want to Save the Planet?). We are a grassroots group just getting off the ground and there is excitement from JLCNY members who are seeing positive action for the first time since 12-17-2014 with the implementation of Dr. Zucker’s moratorium, directed by Cuomo and fake science.
The reason LANY exists is because of the inspirations and aspirations that have demanded such a group be formed.
Inspiration: From the last five years of one sided media coverage of anti fossil fuel groups and poor or lack of science, backing up their claims aka “The earth will self destruct in 2030 if we don’t get off fossil fuels.”
Aspiration: People join LANY to succeed, to stand up for a cause they believe in. To help others who have the same vision, to find a stronger voice together.
The politics in NY when it comes to energy are in my opinion not only bad, but destructive and corrupted by environmental groups, Hollywood, foreign influence, as well as trust fund elitists.
The only way we can defeat misinformation and have a voice in sharing our individual and collective beliefs on our property rights is through active grassroots efforts such as LANY. It’s purpose is proactive, not reactive, based in truth and science. We want to be viewed in our communities as concerned citizens with a just cause based on both truth and science.
I not only support the JLCNY but want the membership of JLCNY to know what I have written here, and that every single member of the JLCNY is invited to join our new landowners group in a joint effort to bring justice to NY property rights, to put truth and science on public display, and for governmental checks and balances.
On the gofundme for the lawsuit…last but not least!
A month ago the SCOTUS ruled 5-4 that state residents can now take their state government to federal court bypassing, for the first time since 1985, state courts in “takings” lawsuits. This is huge for NY landowners who were affected by the poor decision to stop drilling in NY. I have contacted a law firm that has been successful overturning bans in NY courts. The law firm requires a $50,000 retainer and will file a suit against NY on behalf of pro-gas landowners.
I am giving the gofundme account 6 months to reach that goal. As we all know, Cuomo announced he will run again in 2022. Can landowners in NY take 6.5 more years of having their right to lease for gas drilling stripped away LANY’s success does not depend on me personally but depends on everyone reading this article who owns property! It also depends on people who don’t own leaseable property but who do not want to see a 300% increase in energy cost in their monthly electric bill due to Cuomo’s Green New Deal fallacies! Your donations are risk free. If our goal of $50,000 is not reached by March of 2020, I will instruct gofundme to refund the donations. There will be no withdrawals until the lawyers fee is met.
We like Vic’s attitude. His philosophy is to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Let’s help Vic light that candle! Donate to the cause:
(1) Natural Gas Now/Victor Furman (Jul 26, 2019) – “Landowners Unite” Says Vic Furman in Plea for Support to Fight Cuomo
(2) Natural Gas Now/Victor Furman (Jul 31, 2019) – Landowner Advocates of New York Moving Ahead, Says Furman!