Dear Friends, Landowners, and Natural Gas Supporters,
Attached below please find the JLCNY’s statement clarifying our interpretation of the potential final SGEIS and plan for permitting.
Please share this with your fellow supporters.
The three main bullets in this memo simply reinforce our must haves within the statewide guidelines. They represent our interpretation of the potential plan to finalize the SGEIS and begin development in NYS. These principles have been reflected in the draft SGEIS and represent what we have relayed to the State leaders and to communities throughout the entire shale region. We have provided guidance across the entire region, to 13 counties and to all levels of local government, about the problems with the bans and moratoriums and supplied all of our coalition members the information to combat them and support a positive resolution that primarily recognizes the state DEC as the proper, consistent authority.
As we prominently declared in Albany two months ago through our Declaration of Rights, all landowners deserve the right to develop their land under consistent, fairly executed, statewide regulations that are NOT subject to local bans or moratoriums. This is why we are putting up this statement of clarity on our website tonight for all landowners to see, and it reflects the three pillars we will continue to fight for as a unified coalition representing all landowners throughout New York.
1) The state, not local communities, will remain in control of setting standards for development. As we've said in the past, and as has been reinforced in many local resolutions, municipalities lack the expertise and resources to conduct the comprehensive regulatory supervision that natural gas development necessitates. Only the state, and specifically, the Department of Environmental Conservation, has the adequate know-how to oversee natural gas production. We remain confident that the Governor will oversee responsible state leadership and common standards for regulation and permitting of natural gas development.
2) The authority of local bans and moratoria will be determined by the judicial branch. Local bans or moratoria will hold no power over the state's permitting decisions, unless the courts grant communities that right.
3) The DEC will treat all permits equally, and in accordance with the law. While the Governor may focus initial permitting to those areas that have vocalized their support, doing so does not mean state agencies will stifle or prohibit permitting where the law allows resource development.
If there are any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the JLCNY at your convenience. In the mean time have a happy and safe Independence Day Holiday.
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.
NOTICE, Same as attachment:
STATEMENT CLARIFYING JLCNY INTERPRETION OF THE POTENTIAL FINAL SGEIS & PLAN FOR PERMITTING
As you may know, the Cuomo Administration signaled its support for a natural gas development plan that would allow gas drilling to begin in a handful of New York counties in the Southern Tier. The announcement, which was first described in broad strokes by a published report in The New York Times (“Cuomo Proposal Would Restrict Gas Drilling to a Struggling Area,” 6/13/12), is an encouraging development for landowners who believe drilling provides a pathway to clean economic growth. People in New York State need to see development activity safely underway before reasonably extending it to other regions.
Since the announcement contained some ambiguity, it also produced uncertainty and confusion over exactly what this plan means for future natural gas production in New York State.
Ultimately only the Governor can provide additional clarity around his proposal; however, as far as the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) is concerned, we believe the Governor’s announcement makes clear that development is coming. More specifically, we believe:
The state, not local communities, will remain in control of setting standards for development. As we’ve said in the past, and that has been reinforced in many local government resolutions, municipalities lack the expertise and resources to conduct the comprehensive regulatory supervision that natural gas development requires. Only the state, and specifically, the Department of Environmental Conservation, has the adequate know‐how to oversee natural gas production.
We remain confident that the Governor will authorize responsible state led regulation and permitting of natural gas development.
The authority of local bans and moratoria will be determined by the judicial branch. Local bans or moratoria will hold no power over the state’s permitting decisions, unless the courts grant communities that right.
The DEC will treat all permits equally, and in accordance with the law.
Governor’s Administration may focus initial permitting to those areas that have vocalized support for clear state led safeguards, it does not mean state agencies will prohibit permitting where the law and its guidelines allow mineral resource development.
The JLCNY is hopeful that the polarized debate over natural gas development is finally being dictated by facts and moving toward clear definitive action – rather than prolonged inaction – by the state. It’s very clear to us that momentum at the local level is shifting in favor of development, as more and more local municipalities pass resolutions in support of state control over gas drilling. And it’s very clear to us that the Governor has taken note and is taking steps to bring responsible energy and related job development to upstate New York.
The 70,000 members of the JLCNY remain committed to responsible natural gas development in New York, and we are confident that the State of New York under Governor Cuomo’s leadership is moving toward implementing guidelines under the fundamentals outlined above.