June 13, 2012

Looks like Home Rule may be the answer on drilling

This sounds like a trial balloon to me:

Cuomo Plan Would Limit Gas Drilling to a Few Counties in New York

The plan, described by a senior official at the State Department of Environmental Conservation and others with knowledge of the administration's strategy, would limit drilling to the deepest areas of the Marcellus Shale rock formation, at least for the next several years, in an effort to reduce the risk of groundwater contamination.

Even within that southwest New York region -- primarily Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga Counties -- drilling would be permitted only in towns that agree to it, and would be banned in Catskill Park, aquifers and nationally designated historic districts.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations in the administration are still continuing.

It sounds like convergence toward a classic Albany compromise, through the executive branch and possibly with the cooperation of the legislature. I suspect (but I'm not certain) that implementing this would also shut down the Anschutz lawsuit against the Town of Dryden.

Also, note that the mentioned 2000 foot depth line goes right through Dryden, including much of the southern and eastern parts in the "possible to drill with local consent" zone. I also wonder how and if this will apply to the much deeper Utica Shale - yes, it's further down, but the SGEIS didn't spend much time talking about the differences. We'll see.

Posted by simon at June 13, 2012 10:30 AM in ,
Note on photos


Nathanael said:

After investigating the economics of hydrofracking, I've concluded that most of the fracking companies are actually running land scams against the major oil companies: the fracked wells run out very quickly and are therefore not actually very profitable, but the majors are still estimating their production using the rate of decay of normal oil wells, and so overestimate their value. The frackers lease, frack, and then *sell* before the wells' decay rate is demonstrated.

The fact that they're not in the business as long-term operators, but are rather in the land-flipping business, means that they have particularly strong incentives to cut corners environmentally, and we know that they do this frequently everywhere else..

I'm hoping the revelation of this by the USGS is going to eliminate the market for "land flipping" from fracking companies to oil majors, and thus cause the frackers to shut down. They're mostly highly leveraged.

This underlying business situation means that any delay is our friend.