Gas-Industry Group Says Trust in NY Gov’t “Exhausted” (UPDATED)

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Another gas-industry group is out with a strongly worded letter to the Cuomo Administration today, with a New York-based trade organization saying that their trust in state government has been “exhausted.”

The Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York sent its letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo today, urging him to have his Department of Environmental Conservation release its final report on large-scale hydraulic fracturing and to move forward with issuing permits.

The state’s de facto moratorium on the technique, the group noted, has been in place for four years, three months and 27 days. (The DEC first began working on its report — the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement — in July 2008.)

“The lives and livelihoods of hundreds of New York families are now at great risk,” IOGA Executive Director Brad Gill wrote in the letter. “The unnecessary delay in concluding this rulemaking process is a serious problem for the upstate economy.”

Gill pointed to an upcoming Nov. 29 regulatory deadline. If the DEC doesn’t issue final regulations by then, it could file for a 90-day extension, but would have to issue an updated set of proposals and open them to public comment.

One of three academic experts tapped by the state to assist in its hydrofracking review said their assessment is expected to wrap up by “mid-February at the latest.”

UPDATED: Katerine Nadeau, water and natural resources program director for Environmental Advocates of New York, fires back:

“IOGA’s letter says it all – the gas companies believe the state should care more about their bottom line than the public health and well being of the millions of New Yorkers who will be affected if fracking is permitted. New Yorkers are looking to Governor Cuomo to ensure that the many significant questions about fracking’s impacts are answered before permitting is considered.”

Here’s the full letter from IOGA, dated today:

Iog a Letter

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5 Comments

  1. “The lives and livelihoods of hundreds of New York families are now at great risk. ”

    Actually Brad Gill is correct, but only if drilling is allowed to progress in New York State near where people live or work or near ground water, reservoirs, aquifers, streams, rivers, homes, schools, livestock, etc., If it is so safe why has Pennsylvania gagged their doctors from even talking to each other about health impacts and why does the industry require a confidentiality agreement every time they settle with a landowner whose water and or home has been made useless?

    NYS has been prudent and seems to be continuing to progress prudently. The industry needs to clean up their act, drill responsibly, and stop wasting money on shills who promote false safety.

  2. Kathleen A. Reynolds on

    This is a naked attempt to push Governor Cuomo out of his more cautious approach to fracking. Thank goodness for that. Fracking is such a threat to so many things — agriculture, tourism, wine-making, and of course the health and well-being of the citizens of New York State. The argument that this delay in approving fracking is negatively impacing the state’s economy is a false argument. The jobs go to out-of-state people already experienced in fracking, and any economic benefit to New Yorkers is short-lived and comes with enormous risk of losing the value of your home, your land, your livelihood.

  3. ” It would be hard to not overstate the dramatic unattractiveness of New
    York to our industry. The lives and livelihoods of hundreds of New York
    families are now at great risk.”- I would like to address these sentences one at a time. The first quote- “our industry” – yes , that’s ALL you care about it YOUR INDUSTRY. Well let me tell you. I care about the citizens of NY. And NY can indeed make an energy industry and it doesn’t have to include YOU. We can be a beacon, a light to show the rest of the country how we can literally make our home grown energy, bio-fuel,using switch grass and algae based bio fuels. Geothermal heating and cooling to buildings and houses, any new ones that are made use this technology. You see Mr. Gill, you have a short sightedness that stems from your company’s profits. Maybe our Governor is actually LISTENING to to REAL NEW YORKERS, not the oil and gas industry that has it’s claws entrenched in the Federal Government. Well New Yorkers are different. We see what your interests are and it’s not for New York, the bottom line is your profits. The lives and livelyhoods of New Yorkers I envision a new technology for energy creation in the 21ist century using renewable energies. We have RPI, RIT we have many good schools with forward thinking bright young people that will steer our state into SUSTAINABLE energy and will NOT have fracking that will destroy environment , health and lively hoods of the many. I APPLAUD New York Governor Cuomo for keeping you out. The bucolic atmosphere of the Catskills to the Adirondacks accounts for an immeasurable amount of beauty that no dollar amount can hold.

  4. As the recent court cases on force majeure point out, the gas industry could have been doing vertical shale drilling/fracking, as well as drilling in conventional formations, the whole time that the SGEIS/regulation process has been ongoing. Yet Brad Gill and IOGA are upset with the process designed to protect millions of New Yorkers’ health and environment because their industry and a few hundred landowners haven’t been allowed to do horizontal drilling? Perhaps their real problem is that the price of methane has been so low that they can’t make money drilling vertical wells, but they would much rather blame the Governor and the environmentalists.

    It’s also very snarky of Mr. Gill to put quotation marks around the word “experts” in the first paragraph of this letter. The reviewers chosen by the Department of Health are definitely public health experts, as they should be. It is unseemly for Mr. Gill to be so dismissive of them.