On Wednesday, New York State Department of Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said it's possible that New York could reevaluate it's natural gas drilling ban in the future.
From Capital New York:
"During a budget hearing, Martens said he does not think New York officials will revisit the fracking ban imposed earlier this year any time soon, but said many of the studies on which his staff and health department officials relied are ongoing. He said if they find fracking can be done safely, state officials will likely review the ban.
Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke out against Governor Cuomo's recent decision to place an indefinite ban on natural gas drilling.
"Long a proponent of hydraulic fracturing, a process in which chemicals, water and sand are blasted into natural gas wells to facilitate drilling for the commodity, Perry compared Pennsylvania, where the practice is legal, to New York, where it is not, saying that the former state is "creating thousands of energy jobs utilizing fracking to tap deep energy reserves."
“Two states, two vastly different approaches,” Perry said, after calling out Cuomo by name for his decision to ban fracking. “One creates jobs. One appeases a political base at the expense of the people. In Texas, we have chosen jobs."
Seth Whitehead, the Illinois Field Director for Energy in Depth, penned a Letter to the Editor to discuss the fallacy of contaminated groundwater and why it's not a problem in the United States.
From the letter:
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stated on multiple occasions that there is no evidence linking groundwater contamination to hydraulic fracturing. That’s right — there isn’t a single recorded instance of water contamination due to the fracking process.
Still, fossil fuel opponents continue to make claims that fracking “destroys fresh water and renders millions of gallons toxic” despite a lack of evidence.
Questions are being raised about the research sited by Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to ban natural gas drilling in New York.
From Breaking Energy:
"A research paper touted as peer-reviewed science – and used to justify New York’s ban on shale gas development – was actually peer-reviewed by active opponents of shale gas development who concealed their bias from the scientific community and the general public.
This violates at least four different codes of conduct for scientific research and raises more questions about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing for shale gas in New York.
A recent Siena poll finds that upstaters and downstaters alike support New York's natural gas drilling ban.
"By a 57 percent to 23 percent margin said they supported the fracking ban. Even in upstate, where fracking would have occurred, particularly in the Southern Tier, voters supported the ban 57 percent to 33 percent, the Siena College poll found.
A recent article from Energy in Depth outlines why New York is still losing out on gas drilling, even with smaller natural resources than other states.
From the article:
Over the weekend, several articles cited projections from scientists that New York’s Marcellus reserves are not as vast as those in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. As the Associated Press put it, “New York’s recent decision to ban fracking is hardly seen as a big loss for the nation’s production of natural gas.” What the AP and many other outlets missed is that the ban on fracking is, in fact, a pretty big loss for New Yorkers, especially the landowners of the Southern Tier.
It looks like New York will soon be getting even more unsolicited influence from Hollywood - in the form of Gasland's Josh Fox. He, along with Zephyr Teachout will be touring the state to talk about gas drilling and climate change.
From Capital New York:
"Former Democratic gubernatorial challenger Zephyr Teachout is joining with the director of the anti-fracking documentary Gasland to tour dozens of New York towns to talk about climate change and the importance of renewable energy.
Senator Tom Libous issued a statement today in response to Governor Cuomo announcement that New York State will ban natural gas drilling.
"I'm very disappointed by the Department of Health’s decision to ban natural gas hydro-fracking since over 30 other States have ruled that the process can be safely regulated," said Senator Tom Libous. "It's most unfortunate for our farmers, landowners, retailers, hospitality and construction workers looking for hope, growth and opportunity."
This decision comes after a five-year ban on natural gas drilling and subsequent studies by the Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation.
It looks like there might be another home-rule court battle in the near future. A representative from the gas industry is fighting to have the case revisited that would stop localities from banning natural gas drilling.
From the article:
"In a motion filed Wednesday with the Court of Appeals, Albany-based attorney Thomas West (pictured) asked the state’s top court to revisit the case, arguing that the panel of judges didn’t appropriately consider an argument made in court filings. West represents Mark Wallach, the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy, a former subsidiary to a Norwegian oil-and-gas company that challenged Dryden’s drilling ban.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article Merril Matthews discuses the impact of local governments that ban natural gas drilling.
From the article:
"The growing efforts by state and local governments to stop hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to extract natural gas could end up in the Supreme Court. These efforts may unconstitutionally limit property owners' ability to profit from their mineral rights.
More than 170 New York towns and cities have used zoning laws to restrict or prohibit fracking, and in June New York's Supreme Court turned back a challenge to this practice. Pennsylvania allows local municipalities to restrict fracking. Colorado and California are struggling with the issue.