Obtuse NY Assemblywoman from Ithaca Proposes “No-Tenancy” Bill

Barbara Lifton

Ithaca, NY is unfortunately saddled with an Assemblywoman who is, charitably, not too bright. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton is a virulent anti-fossil fueler, even though she herself uses fossil fuels each and every day of her life. She was dead set against converting a coal burning plant near Ithaca into burning natural gas (see Cayuga Power Plant Stays Open (Burning Coal) – Thx to Fractivists). Thanks (in large part) to Lifton, the residents of Ithaca continue to breathe dirty air. She also tried to stop a federally permitted natgas pipeline from expanding in the region (see NY State Legislator Tries to Derail Dominion New Market Project). And now she’s at it again. Even though there is no shale drilling in New York, apparently Lifton wants to drive the final nail in the coffin of the conventional drilling industry too, driving out all oil and gas activity in the state. Lifton has introduced a bill that we call “no-tenancy.” You’ve been reading about West Virginia’s co-tenancy bill here on MDN, a bill that would allow rights owners in property to sign a lease if 75% or more of the owners agree to lease terms. It corrects a situation where dozens, sometimes hundreds of people who own a fractional share in property can’t be found, or refuse to sign, screwing all of the other owners of the property. Lifton’s bill, A2499, would require 100% of all rights owners to sign leases “for oil, gas or mineral rights, and any modification, extension or renewal thereof.” It is plainly meant to end any future drilling of any kind in the state. That’s the aim. The Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York (IOGANY) is pushing back…
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Dominion New Market Project Still on Track in NY, Antis Fume

In June 2014, MDN told you about the Dominion New Market Project–a project that will build two new compressor plants and upgrade one other compressor station in upstate New York–to help flow more abundant, cheap and clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania (and beyond) into the northeast (see Dominion Asks FERC for New Compressors in Upstate NY, WV). The project is projected to cost $159 million and provide 112,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of extra natural gas capacity along ~200 miles of existing Dominion pipeline across upstate New York–no new pipeline is being laid. The existing Dominion pipeline runs through the Horseheads, Ithaca, Syracuse and Albany areas. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Dominion’s New Market Project in October 2015 (see FERC Approves Expansion of Dominion Pipeline in Upstate NY). And then a real miracle happened. The Cuomo-corrupted New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved the New Market compressor stations on Dec. 23, 2016 (see Miracle! NY DEC Approves Dominion’s New Compressor Stations). Needless to say, anti-fossil fuel freaks are freaked out that the project is now a reality. The lone compressor station that will get an upgrade (not being built from scratch) is located near Ithaca, NY, home of some of the nuttiest of the nutjobs. The antis who run the Town of Dryden (near Ithaca, where the compressor station is located) passed a “public utility moratorium” last summer (which expires this summer) in an attempt to stop the upgrade at the Dominion compressor station. However, Dominion has outsmarted the antis and continues to work on the upgrade, which is making the antis apoplectic, much to our delight…
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Dominion Faces Hostile Crowd in Ithaca re New Market Project

In June 2014, MDN told you about the Dominion New Market Project–a project that will build two new compressor plants and upgrade one other compressor station in upstate New York–to help flow more abundant, cheap and clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania (and beyond) into the northeast (see Dominion Asks FERC for New Compressors in Upstate NY, WV). The project is projected to cost $159 million and provide 112,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of extra natural gas capacity along ~200 miles of existing Dominion pipeline across upstate New York. The existing Dominion pipeline runs through the Horseheads, Ithaca, Syracuse and Albany areas. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Dominion’s New Market Project in October 2015 (see FERC Approves Expansion of Dominion Pipeline in Upstate NY). And then a real miracle happened. The corrupt New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved the New Market compressor stations on Dec. 23, 2016 (see Miracle! NY DEC Approves Dominion’s New Compressor Stations). Needless to say, anti-fossil fuel freaks are freaked out that the project is now a reality. The lone compressor station that will get an upgrade (not being built from scratch) is located near Ithaca, NY, home of some of the nuttiest of the nutjobs. On Monday night, Dominion personnel donned their armor and held a public meeting to answer questions by a crowd that was, by all accounts, hostile…Continue reading

Lansing NY Officials Fight Back Against Tinfoil Hat Fossil Fuel Haters

In February MDN brought you the story of the insanity that exists in Planet Ithaca–about a plan to disallow any new supplies of natural gas to flow to the Town of Lansing (Ithaca suburb) and to forever block any new customers from getting natural gas hookups to their homes and businesses in Lansing (see Anti-Fossil Fuel Hatred Metastasizes in Tompkins County, NY). Members of the Tompkins County Energy and Economic Development Task Force object to building seven miles of 10-inch natural gas pipeline in the Lansing area because the pipeline flows a fossil fuel. They have objected to the point that the local utility company wanting to build it, NYSEG (New York State Electric & Gas), floated an alternative plan: Build a compressor station for existing customers, and no new customers are allowed to receive natgas service. Ever. Period. Just one teeny tiny problem with this bizarro plan: Nobody bothered to talk to the duly elected representatives in Lansing–to the people representing the local population. Those representatives went to Albany to tell the Public Service Commission–and NYSEG–that the so-called alternative plan is nuts (our words). The people and businesses of Lansing want more clean-burning natural gas, not less…
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NY State Legislator Tries to Derail Dominion New Market Project

NY Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton – anti-drilling zealot

In June 2014, MDN told you about the Dominion New Market Project–a project that will build two new compressor plants and upgrade one other compressor station in upstate New York–to help flow more abundant, cheap and clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania (and beyond) into the northeast (see Dominion Asks FERC for New Compressors in Upstate NY, WV). The project is projected to cost $159 million and provide 112,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of extra natural gas capacity along ~200 miles of existing Dominion pipeline across upstate New York. The existing Dominion pipeline runs through the Horseheads, Ithaca, Syracuse and Albany areas. In March 2015 MDN friend Andy Leahy wrote about the pitched battle antis waged against the project (see NY Antis Flood FERC in Fight Against Dominion’s New Market Project). The antis were unsuccessful. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Dominion’s New Market Project in October 2015 (see FERC Approves Expansion of Dominion Pipeline in Upstate NY). And then a real miracle happened. The New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved the New Market compressor stations on Dec. 23, 2016 (see Miracle! NY DEC Approves Dominion’s New Compressor Stations). Barbara Lifton, an eco-left Democrat from Ithaca who serves in the New York Assembly, is now trying a last minute, very desperate attempt to stop the project from proceeding. Two weeks ago Lifton sent letters to both FERC and the DEC, hoping she can (ab)use her position to pressure one or the other (or both) to delay the project, which is the antis’ first step in killing a project…
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Anti-Fossil Fuel Hatred Metastasizes in Tompkins County, NY

Anti-pipeline insanity has metastasized in Tompkins County, NY (i.e. Ithaca). Members of the Tompkins County Energy and Economic Development Task Force object to building seven miles of 10-inch natural gas pipeline in the Lansing area (suburb of Ithaca)–because the pipeline flows a fossil fuel. They have objected to the point that the local utility company wanting to build it, NYSEG (New York State Electric & Gas), has floated an alternative plan: Build a compressor station for existing customers, and no new customers are allowed to receive natgas service. Ever. Period. Talk about nuts! The tinfoil hat folks on the Task Force instead want NYSEG (or someone else) to invest in so-called alternative energy projects to meet the energy demand for new customers. That is, the Task Force is prejudiced against the type of energy residents prefer to use–to the point of forcing another choice on them. Only in the Communist Paradise of Ithaca…
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Cayuga Power Plant Stays Open (Burning Coal) – Thx to Fractivists

Cayuga power plant
Credit: Ithaca Journal

In July 2013 we wrote this: “It would be hysterically funny if it weren’t so pathetically sad. So-called environmentalists don’t want an electrical generating power plant in Tompkins County, near Ithaca, NY, to switch from burning coal to natural gas because they’re afraid it will mean more fracking. Talk about cuckoo birds” (see NY Eco Group Protest to Stop Plant Converting from Coal to NatGas). In August 2013 we pointed out that if the plant can’t convert and ends up closing, the local school district is the biggest loser (see If NY Electric Plant Can’t Convert to NatGas, School Gets Screwed). The owner of the plant, Cayuga Operating Co., ended up selling it. The new owner, Riesling Power, tried to continue to process to get approval for converting the coal-fired plant to burn natural gas (not only cleaner, but also cheaper). Ultimately, the Cuomo-controlled Public Service Commission (PSC) turned down the request to convert. So guess what? The new owner certainly isn’t closing the plant after investing all that money. They’re going to keep operating it as a coal-fired plant–belching out far more pollution than a natgas plant would. Congratulations idiot fractivists (including obtuse Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, who wanted the plant closed). You’ve just screwed yourselves and all of your neighbors too!…
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NY Lawmakers Ask Gov. Cuomo to Ban New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

Barbara Lifton
Barbara Lifton

Barbara Lifton is a dangerously stupid person. Dangerous because she happens to be an elected member of the New York State Assembly–representing the ultra-liberal bastion of Ithaca, NY. Lifton has long opposed shale drilling in the state, but her hatred of shale drilling has now spilled over and metastasized into a full-blown, irrational hatred of all fossil fuels. Lifton and 21 other energy no-nothings in the NY state legislature sent a signed letter to Gov. Andrew “man-child” Cuomo asking him to halt all state approvals of pipelines, compressor stations, power plants, and gas storage facilities. Essentially–stop any more development of energy that comes from fossil fuels. Even though, as we reported Wednesday, last year 81.5% of all energy used in this country (and in New York State) came from fossil fuels (see Last Year Fossil Fuels Provided 81.5% of All Energy Used in U.S.). That’s the stupid part. Lifton and her cronies are advocating that we dump the source of 81.5% of our energy. Let’s play a “what if?” game. If such a thing were done, if we stopped using fossil fuels in New York State, we would be instantly transported back to the Stone Ages, complete with mass death and disease. Ninety percent or more of the population would either have to move, or die. Here’s the humorous part: The letter Lifton signed requesting an energy holocaust was produced on a computer made from plastics (i.e. fossil fuels) and powered with electricity from fossil fuels. The clothes she wore at a rally in Binghamton to announce this lunacy were made from plastic fibers (i.e. fossil fuels), and she got to the rally from Ithaca in a vehicle powered by fossil fuels, riding in a vehicle and on tires made from fossil fuels. You get our drift. Pure insanity. Here’s a report about the letter, the rally, and the dangerously stupid Barbara Lifton…
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Cornell University Rejects Fossil Fuel Divestment Scam

Cornell University is home to some real loons–like Tony Ingraffea and Robert Howarth, who try to claim using natural gas is worse for the environment than burning coal (see New Cornell University Study Says Shale Gas Extraction Worse for Global Warming Than Coal). Their research has been debunked numerous times (see Howarth, Ingraffea Shale Gas Study on Global Warming Discredited by U.S. Department of Energy). But then there are some real scientists and professors at Cornell, like Lawrence M. Cathles, Larry Brown, and Andrew Hunter (see New Cornell Study Says Coal is Not Cleaner than Natural Gas). Over the years we’ve despaired that Cornell would ever pull its collective head out of its…asphalt. But then none other than the Cornell Board of Trustees does us proud. There has been a great deal of pressure from spoiled, rich, white kids to force the universities they attend to divest from fossil fuels. This is true for Cornell as well. The Cornell Board of Trustees has just voted NOT to divest their considerable endowment funds from companies that produce fossil fuels. Kudos to Cornell!…
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Lawsuit Prevents NY Power Plant from Converting to NatGas, Closing

closedAlthough anti-fossil fuel nutters in New York State have worked to oppose converting electric generating plants from burning coal to clean-burning natural gas (see Anti-Drillers Oppose Converting 2 NY Electric Plants to NatGas), it’s not anti-fossil fuel arguments that will shut down those plants. It’s good, old fashioned, American…lawsuits. Lawsuits brought by a competitor. You may recall Gov. Andrew Cuomo slogged through three feet of snow in December 2013 to announce in Dunkirk (near Buffalo) that he would provide state assistance to the NRG plant to convert from coal to natural gas (see Dunkirk, NY Electric Plant Saved – Converting from Coal to NatGas). That was good news for Dunkirk. The Dunkirk electric plant provides something like 40% of all the tax revenue that flows into the coffers at the town. Can you imagine what would happen to local roads, public safety services (police and firefighters), and to the local school district, if the plant closed down? Imagine no more. A lawsuit brought by a competitor against NRG’s plan to convert has NRG saying the plant will close after all. NRG expects the lawsuit will take years to litigate–so by next March they’re shuttering the plant. There goes 40% of Dunkirk’s tax revenue–right down the toilet…
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Park Foundation Resolution Defeated by ExxonMobil Shareholders

happy dance - SnoopyIt’s not often (enough) that the odious and disgusting Park Foundation suffers a total defeat–so we do a happy dance when it happens. It happened yesterday at ExxonMobil’s annual meeting where shareholders handed the Park Foundation (of Ithaca, NY) a humiliating defeat of their resolution that Exxon compose a cockamamie report every year detailing the so-called “risks” involved with unconventional drilling. Apparently the self-loathing Park Foundation wants Exxon to become self-loathing too–to produce a report that essentially says they’re creeps destroying Mother Earth by fracking. Three-fourths of Exxon shareholders said “no thanks.” Shareholders also voted down an idiotic proposal by a group of Catholic priests from Milwaukee who have lost their first love (Jesus Christ) in favor of a new love (Global Warming) to put a global warming expert on the board of directors. Ah, excuse us Fathers, whatever happened to your vow of poverty? Seems the priests of Milwaukee now have more money than the Lord Himself and want to throw their weight around at shareholder meetings rather than save souls…
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Cornell Prof Admits He’s Anti-Drilling Advocate, Not Impartial

Ingraffea_Anthony.jpg
Tony Ingraffea

When someone says “a professor of hydraulic fracturing from Cornell University” is bad mouthing shale drilling, it certainly grabs your attention. Cornell is a storied institution and professors at Cornell face tough competition to teach there. We’ve written plenty about Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, the Cornell prof with a bachelors degree in aerospace engineering from Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder–and an “expert” in hydraulic fracturing. Ingraffea has a nice sideline business of bashing fracking whenever and wherever he can–and when he does so, it is with the full reputation and backing of Cornell University behind him. We still remember the first time we heard Ingraffea in person (see Cornell Hydraulic Fracturing Expert Headlines First Meeting of New York Residents Against Drilling (NYRAD) in Vestal, NY). Ingraffea spoke about everything at that meeting–except the science of fracking. And therein is the bait and switch that Ingraffea engages in. He trades on his reputation as a geologist and scientist, and on the reputation of Cornell–yet he never attacks the actual science of fracking. To do so would be intellectual and professional suicide. It is the other, tertiary issues Ingraffea attacks–like “boom and bust” cycles, and truck traffic, and theoretical damage to water aquifers. Recently Tony finally admitted, on the record, that he’s not an impartial scientist at all when it comes to fracking. Tony himself said he’s an advocate and that he engages in advocacy–not science…
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NY Anti-Drillers Still Unhappy — Maybe (Another) Meeting Will Fix It?

EeyoreNew York’s anti-drillers are still not happy–even after winning a ban by pressuring a spineless governor. They continue to rally and agitate and spread lies and threats and tell scary stories of environmental boogeymen…”that pipeline’ll kill ya”…”the fracked gas comin’ out the stove has radon in it”…”the compressor station three miles from your house that you didn’t even know existed is poisonin’ Mother Earth.” Why do they persist long after they’ve won? Are they empty in the soul and only find meaning in these silly pursuits and endless meetings? Do they have otherwise meaningless lives? Is there a permanent cloud over their heads no matter the circumstance? Who knows. Here’s the latest “fracking will still kill New Yorkers–even though there is no fracking in New York” event this Thursday, starring the so-called “distinguished scholar in residence” at Ithaca College, Sandra Steingraber…
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NY High Court Rebuffs Norse Request to Re-hear Town Ban Case

nopeWe won’t bother to chronicle, once again, the long fight in New York State over the right of a town board with 3-5 members deciding that every resident in a township will lose the right to use their property the way they want to (even though property ownership is sacrosanct under the U.S. Constitution). In the People’s Republic of New York, the mob rules. The rule of law is out the window. And so, a few New York high court judges who want to retain their posts under Gov. Andrew Cuomo, decided nobody really reads the Constitution anymore anyway–and that local town boards (not individual landowners) will now decide whether or not shale drilling will take place (see Shale Drilling in NY is Over – High Court Upholds Town Bans). One of the litigants in the case was Norse Energy, forced into bankruptcy by New York’s now 6+ year moratorium on fracking. Norse took over leases from Anschutz Exploration and sued the Town of Dryden, NY over their idiotic frack ban. Based on a recent Colorado case that is similar (and found against so-called “home rule” by towns), Norse asked New York’s highest court to re-hear the case (see Norse Energy Appeals Town Ban Case Back to NY High Court). The crooked judges said “nope”…
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Norse Energy Appeals Town Ban Case Back to NY High Court

In April MDN reported on the rumors that Norse Energy, the ill-fated company that bet big on New York State with 180,000 acres of leased land in NY, had been sold at bankruptcy court (see Highest Bid for Norse Energy $2.65M – Was it Sold & Who Bid?). As we pointed out in the story, we don’t know if the company was actually sold, and if it was, who the actual buyer was. We still don’t know. What we do know is that the only thing left to sell were Norse’s leases, since they had already sold off all of the hard assets (see Lights Turned Off, Door Closed – Good Night, Norse Energy). However, the Norse trustee retained at least some of the leases assets so the company could continue their lawsuit against New York for bankrupting them. Try to get back at least some of that money. Then the double-whammy: The New York Court of Appeals (our highest court) ruled against Norse and said local towns can ban fracking (see Shale Drilling in NY is Over – High Court Upholds Town Bans). The new news, just coming to light for us, is that Norse appealed that decision back to the Court of Appeals for a second time, based on a recent decision in a Colorado court…
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Park Foundation Exposed as Funding Faux Research Against Shale

South ParkFor years MDN (and others) have written about the shadowy Park Foundation, a supposedly philanthropic non-profit with offices in Ithaca, NY, as behind some of the most insidious and frankly false “research” that attempts to smear the miracle of hydraulic fracturing. A new article in the summer issue of Philanthropy magazine lays bare the collusion that exists between the Park Foundation and researchers at once-storied institutions like Cornell University. In fact, Park is the funder of many anti-shale groups, including Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and more than 50 large and small groups. Park has woven a clever web of bought-and-paid for “researchers” and “reporters” at both big and small media outlets to plant false stories about shale gas…
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