I was a little worried that State Senator Jim Seward had gone quiet on his earlier support for clarifying that municipalities can zone out gas drilling. Fortunately, WBNG-TV reports that he's still interested in a piece on the Middlefield lawsuit:
State Senator Seward is pushing legislation to also interpret the law.
"My legislation would clearly give local governments the authority to through their local land use planning process and local zoning to determine whether or not this is an allowed activity or not," says Senator Seward.
The State Senate has decided not to move forward with any gas drilling bills until the DEC concludes its study, which means until then, Huntington's lawsuit in Middlefield takes center stage.
His fellow Republicans don't seem willing to allow his legislation to move forward, which is unfortunate given that Dryden is being sued in the meantime.
Perhaps the most interesting other bit of that article is the closing:
Company President Raymond Savoie says it is letting leases drop in Otsego County.
"Some of these areas are just getting misinformed. The best thing to do is just move forward to other counties," says Savoie.
I'm guessing that's just PR (plus some attitude about "misinformed"), because in the Middlefield case the landowner is taking point instead of the gas company, but it sure would be nice to hear Anschutz acknowledge that it's not welcome here and start pulling up stakes.
My guess is that Seward's speaking out and this (not to mention his right-wing colleague Greg Ball) means that Republicans are still possibly going to allow some kind of local control compromise on drilling, eventually. In the meantime, I'm sure their colleague Tom Libous will enjoy holding us all hostage to the gas companies and their lawyers.Posted by simon at November 2, 2011 10:21 PM in Anschutz lawsuit , energy , politics (state)