Anti-Drillers Provide Fraudulent Ban Petition to Covert, NY Board

An MDN reader has alerted us to some “funny business” going on in the Town of Covert, NY (near Ithaca) on the part of anti-drillers who circulated a petition in support of a town ban on fracking. It appears that at least some of the “signatures” on the petition were fraudulently added by the group circulating the petition, the so-called Concerned Citizens of Covert (CCC). The list of names of those supposedly supporting a ban were presented as a typewritten list to town board members, but (as far as we know), the original signed petitions have not yet been produced by CCC.

One Covert landowner says she did not sign the petition but her name, along with the names of other family members who also did not sign, appears on the typewritten version of the petition. She said it looks like the CCC simply went through voter registration roles and added a bunch of names, claiming they had all signed. If that’s true, the CCC petition should immediately be investigated by the local and state attorneys general (but don’t hold your breath)…
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PA Driller Buys Land, Wells from Chesapeake–in NY Finger Lakes

fire sale A small independent exploration and production company from Bradford, PA—Minard Run Oil Co.—has just picked up 56,130 acres of leases, 200 miles of pipelines, compressor stations, and 413 natural gas wells—all located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. They purchased the assets from Chesapeake Energy for an undisclosed amount. According to Minard, Chesapeake was “a willing seller,” which kind of feels to MDN like it was a “fire sale” on the part of Chesapeake to get a little more cash on the books before the close of 2012.

For now, Minard plans to continue vertical-only drilling and drill another 20-30 wells in 2013. The company did not mention any plans for horizontal fracking in the future.

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