N.Y. fracking health study news draws cheers, jeers
2:51 PM, Mar 3, 2013
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
ALBANY — While opponents of fracking are pleased at a report that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will wait for a
Pennsylvania health study before deciding whether to allow drilling, landowners are preparing to sue
New York over lost gas-leasing opportunities and an industry group warned Sunday that a business
exodus from the state will worsen.
The Associated Press reported Saturday that Cuomo came close to approving a limited drilling plan for as
many as 40 shale gas wells last month before environmentalist and former brother-in-law Robert Kennedy Jr.
helped persuade him to await a new study, which could delay a decision for up to a year or longer.
Cuomo is expected to announce a formal decision after the Department of Environmental Conservation
completes its 5-year environmental impact study in the coming weeks. DEC Commissioner Joe Martens
has said that study will be finished after Health Commissioner Nirav Shah makes recommendations
based on his own review, which will include a look at the new $1 million Geisinger Health System study
launched recently in Pennsylvania.
Unlike most studies funded by advocates or opponents of hydraulic fracturing, the Geisinger study would
be funded by the Sunbury, Pa.-based Degenstein Foundation, which is not seen as having an ideological bent.
"I think it will be pivotal," Kennedy told the AP. Preliminary results are expected within the year, but final
conclusions could be years off. The study will look at health histories of hundreds of thousands of patients
who live near gas wells and other facilities producing natural gas from the same Marcellus Shale formation
that New York would tap.
New York has had a moratorium since 2008 on horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing,
which frees natural gas from shale by injecting a well with chemically treated water and sand at enormous
pressure. Other states in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation have seen local economies boom as
drilling rigs have sprouted up.
for conventional vertical gas wells, which are still allowed in the state but are less profitable than the far-larger
shale gas wells, have dropped from about 600 in 2008 to below 200 in 2012 as the industry has moved to
"For business owners, the opportunity is not here in New York," Smith said. "We can assume the exodus
we're seeing now will continue" if the moratorium remains until results of the Geisinger study are in, he said.
"We're continuing to trust that the decision will be based on science," Smith said. "There's no scientific
reason at all to continue these delays."
John Armstrong of New Yorkers Against Fracking, a statewide coalition of health and environmental groups,
said "it's a great sign" that Cuomo reportedly is waiting for health study results before making a decision on
fracking. But the Geisinger study won't be enough to satisfy the demands of his group, he said.
"Geisinger and other studies have the potential to give us some important data, but we also need to look at
concerns specific to New York state," Armstrong said. "We're asking for a comprehensive health impact
assessment," which would include participation by the state's medical community as well as the public,
he said. "We're also calling for a study of social and economic impacts."
Landowners hoping to lease to gas-drilling companies and earn royalties on gas production are preparing
a lawsuit against the state because of the moratorium. The lawsuit will allege that the state has taken property
rights in violation of the state and federal constitutions, said Scott Kurkoski, a lawyer representing the
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.
prosperity, New York threatens to impede our progress and deny the constitutionally guaranteed rights of
New York landowners," Kurkoski said in a statement, citing comments from President Barack Obama and
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in support of natural gas.
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>> Landowners hoping to lease to gas-drilling companies and earn royalties on gas production are preparing a lawsuit
against the state because of the moratorium. The lawsuit will allege that the state has taken property rights in violation
of the state and federal constitutions, said Scott Kurkoski, a lawyer representing the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York. <<
Yep. If that can find a plaintiff. And if they can find a case. This is a publicity stunt. There has never been a takings
claim in a mineral rights case in NY. The action of government must take ALL VALUE of the land. That hasn't happened here.
>> "While our nation's leaders bring us closer than ever to achieving energy independence, cleaner air and economic prosperity, <<
Woah! Stop right there Scott! ALL THREE of those clauses are highly suspect.
1) "Energy independence"-- In a recent conference call to investors, Cabot CEO Dan Dinges said that it is in their business
plant to EXPORT GAS via the LNG export facility at Cove Point MD.
So WE AIN'T BUYING THAT BS any more,
unless you're talking about CHINA's energy independence.
2) Cleaner Air? Then why is the air quality of Bradford County and Susquehanna county PA so bad?
3) Economic Prosperity?
>> New York threatens to impede our progress and deny the constitutionally guaranteed rights of New York landowners," Kurkoski said.... <<
What constitutional rights are those?
There is NO RIGHT TO FRACK guaranteed in the Constitution.
There is NO RIGHT to engage in risky activity on your land which is LIKELY to pollute MY WATER.
There IS a generally recognized right of a community to DEFEND ITSELF FROM HARM
though Zoning and the General Police Powers.
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)