Some energy companies give up on fracking in New York
Rules, lack of progress cause many to give up on fracking
8:12 PM, Dec 2, 2012
ITHACA — As energy companies show diminished interest in high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York, the Tompkins County Courthouse is being flooded with paperwork showing a rapid increase in expiring gas leases.
At the root of this trend are the state Department of EnvironmentalConservation’s four-year drilling moratorium and the threat of potentially tough regulations, according to Jim Smith, spokesman for the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York. Smith’s organization offers public-relations work for oil and gas companies.
“If you go to a meeting where there’s a majority of our members, they will tell you that the opportunities are not here in New York right now,” Smith said. “They will tell you that the opportunities are in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and not New York, and that’s not a knock, that’s just a fact.”
After launching an environmental review of hydrofracking in 2008, the DEC had faced a deadline of last Thursday for finalizing proposed regulations. But late Wednesday, the department filed for a 90-day extension, which requires a “substantially revised” set of proposals and a further 30 days of public comment.
In recent years, more than 30 municipalities in upstate New York have passed bans on gas drilling, and more than 80 have enacted moratoriums, the Associated Press reported in July.
Thomas West, an attorney for Anschutz Exploration Corp., said the company is, by and large, cutting its losses in New York.
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