Under the tent (photo: Adam Foster | Codefor/flickr)

Well, it’s finally happened – NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the DEC are basically caving to two bodies of people: rural landowners who are in trouble because the dairy industry is in trouble and energy interests.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration is pursuing a plan to limit the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing to portions of several struggling New York counties along the border with Pennsylvania, and to permit it only in communities that express support for the technology…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…It would be contingent on hydraulic fracturing’s receiving final approval from state regulators, a step that is not a foregone conclusion but is widely expected later this summer. Department of Environmental Conservation regulators last year signaled their initial support for the drilling process around the state, with exceptions for environmentally sensitive areas like New York City’s upstate watershed. – Cuomo Plan Would Allow Fracking in Limited Area – for now

I live in Broome County and I can tell you that counties that border northern PA are already feeling the negative effects of the fracking/natural gas drilling that is going on just over the border in PA:
– Road damage from drilling trucks
– Increased crime
– People coming in and buying up all the housing to use to rent to out of state drilling workers
– Contaminated water (because rivers and creeks do flow north)

Yes, I realize that there are a lot of people in the area who are asset rich and income poor and the offers from energy companies look really good. But the corporations that end up doing the drilling are NOT the companies that signed the leases – they are packaging those up and reselling them to other drilling companies. And the drillers are not hiring local people for jobs – that is an outright delusion. The workers are being brought in from other states such as Texas and Oklahoma to do the work. We have no regulations on the books to protect townships and municipalities from damage from drilling companies and their equipment; we have no regulations on the books to protect landowners whose water supplies get contaminated because their neighbors leased their gas rights. As a matter of fact, in New York, if your neighbor has a gas lease and the drilling company decides to start drilling at the edge of your neighbor’s property, because fracking is a vertical and then horizontal process, the drillers can be drilling into your property, you wouldn’t know it and you have no legal recourse against them or your neighbors. When your water supply becomes contaminated, you have no legal recourse against the drilling company or against your neighbor.

And why do I call this ‘the camel’s nose”? Well because of this: The Marcellus Shale is attached to an even deeper and actually more ‘attractive’ geologic formation called the Utica Shale, which extends even farther north, east and west. Once the DEC gets away with this, the Utica Shale is next.

This is horrific. The Working Families Party has a petition going to Gov. Cuomo and the DEC here Petition Please sign.