Anti-fracking groups say Norse lawsuit is “ridiculous”

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A coalition of anti-fracking groups is pushing back against a lawsuit filed against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, with a spokesman calling the legal challenge “ridiculous.”

The bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy USA, a defunct subsidiary of a Norwegian oil-and-gas company, filed court papers in state Supreme Court in Albany late Tuesday, asking the court to force Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a decision on whether high-volume fracking can proceed in New York.

John Armstrong, a spokesman for Frack Action and the coalition group New Yorkers Against Fracking, said the lawsuit ignores the potential for negative environmental impacts.

“Norse Energy’s ridiculous lawsuit shows the gas industry’s willful denial of the harms of fracking and its disregard for public well-being,” Armstrong said in a statement. “It’s a sad attempt from a failed international company to ignore the health impacts and the significant, growing body of evidence demonstrating that fracking contaminates water and poisons the air.”

The state Department of Environmental Conservation first launched its fracking review nearly 5 1/2 years ago, while a separate analysis by state Health Commissioner Nirav Shah began in September 2012. High-volume fracking remains on hold in New York until that work is finalized.

Norse, the Erie County-based subsidiary of a Norwegian energy company, still holds the lease to about 130,000 acres of oil-and-gas rights in New York, with much of it in the Marcellus Shale formation that stretches across the state’s Southern Tier. The company had hoped to cash in on a potential New York gas-drilling boom but went out of business earlier this year, with the lawsuit arguing that the state’s lengthy decision-making process “obliterated” the value of its assets.

West had threatened the court action for the past two weeks after he sent a letter to DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens demanding a timetable for the release of his agency’s review, known as the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement or SGEIS.

The suit was filed a day after Cuomo and Shah declined to put a timeline on when the health review would be completed, with Cuomo telling reporters he doesn’t want to put any “undue pressure” on Shah. The health commissioner said he was “withholding his recommendation” until he was “comfortable with the state of the science.”

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  1. If you see the video of Shah’s response to questions from the press, you can see how uncomfortable he is, as the puppet master stood by. Why dont Shah and Martens man up and let everyone know who the puppet master really is, King Cuomo. The antifrackers know the day of reckoning is fast approaching, they only have the puppet master to control, since facts and science prove HVHF can and is being performed safely in 30 other state.

  2. Didn’t take long for the hypocrite deniers to deny…. Next thing you know Yoko Ono will win a grammy for “Don’t Frack My Mom”

  3. They don’t get it NYRAD….NYRAF… They have never proved or found a case of ground water pollution caused by fracking, Calvin Tillman said his family had head aches nose bleeds, and rashes from fracking and had to move from his infected house so what happened to the house…? He sold it to another young family with kids who have been living there with no problems… It is time NYRAD and Cuomo and Shaw and Martens to admit they been bamboozeld,shysted,mislead,lied to, played as political pawns by eco-terroist who would lie to their own mother just to get her to pay attention to them. BEING AGAIST FRACKING IS A BUSSINESS MADE PROFITTABLE TO THE LIARS

  4. I hope Mr. West wins the suit. As for the anti’s whining……simple case of spilled milk. As for their contention about all the water and air that is being poisoned and gas in people’s water, they should read this – http://www.pressconnects.com/viewart/20131217/NEWS01/312170062/Study-finds-methane-15-percent-upstate-N-Y-wells
    The anti’s are nothing more than proxies for the super rich in NYC and the Catskills who want to keep drilling out because the price of land will skyrocket as it did in PA when gas was found there. Tsk, tsk…….the super rich will no longer be able to literally steal the bankrupt farms to build their massive summer mansions and continue to deny landowners their mineral RIGHTS.

  5. Cue up the Hollywood idiots: Ruffalo, Damon, Yoko et al and the suck ups that believe anything celebrities tell them.

    Cuomo can just keep hunkering down like a donkey in a hail storm. Meanwhile, across the border in PA, unprecedented amounts of wealth are being created and being spread across the entire socio-economic spectrum. The economic impact of the US energy revolution dwarfs that of the internet revolution. The investment in infrastructure to bring the natural gas to market alone will create millions of new high wage jobs. The worldwide transition from coal/oil to natural gas will generate far reaching reductions in carbon emissions for generations to come. The US will go from being a net energy importer to an exporter in a few short years, from a trade deficit to a trade surplus. Once again, America leads the world.

    And New York continues to wither in denial. Death spiral…

  6. John Armstrong is the one who’s ridiculous! He is such a blind zealot he doesn’t get even the basics right – it is not Norse Energy suing, it’s the bankruptcy trustee.

  7. Norse took the mineral leases on SPECULATION. There are no guarantees in the mining industry; and government processes take as long as they take to determine safety practices.

    This whole process might just be thrown back onto Norge, because they have not yet even provided the complete chemical composition of the material they intend to inject through our aquifers.

  8. Bill M they the speculation is on what they might recover in gas, but leases have an intrinsic value. If I buy a lottery ticker for a buck, I’m speculating that the ticket has some value – a big payoff.. Now, I could theoretically sell that ticket to a third party for a buck; perhaps more if there were a strict limit on number of tickets sold.. If it turns out to be a winning ticket, it has more value. That’s how leases work – you see gas companies selling leases to each other all the time. Now imagine that the entity running the lottery decides to postpone the drawing.. THAT’s the situation here – an undue delay under SEQRA. Despite what you claim, the laws require a time-limited process headed by the DEC, and they cannot delegate their lead agency authority to the DOH, or some hatchet-faced idiot who fancies himself a leader. And can you really trust the Shah of Health? He who almost a year ago declared he was “weeks” away from completing his work? Who talks about a process in a “sacred” place? Doesn’t sound like science to me – sounds like his lips are firmly on the butt of the Ditherer.