Norse, Holbrook, and Lobdell Article 78 Petition

Dear Friends and Natural Gas Supporters,


I am pleased to report that Norse Energy has filed its action against New York State for its failure to issue the SGEIS governing high volume hydraulic fracturing. Governor Cuomo, DEC Commissioner Martens and DOH Commissioner Shah are named in the action. The petition and two supporting documents can be viewed by opening the three files attached below.


The Article 78 petition alleges that New York is bound by the State Environmental Quality Review Act to promote the development of its indigenous natural gas resources, protect the correlative rights of landowners for the development of their mineral rights and complete the SGEIS process in a timely and orderly manner. The petition seeks:

(1) Mandamus relief to compel finalization of the SGEIS;

(2) A determination that the referral to Dr. Shah is illegal under the State Environmental Quality Review Act;

(3) An order of prohibition, prohibiting Governor Cuomo from further delaying the process;

(4) A jury trial if New York State responds by offering excuses for the delay; and

(5) Public review of all of the interagency communications, including communications from and to the Executive Chamber, concerning the SGEIS process.


The case is returnable on January 24, 2014, in Albany County Supreme Court where a Judge will hear arguments on the merits and decide whether a jury trial is required.


The JLCNY fully supports this action by Norse. This lawsuit will serve as an important precursor to our takings action against the state.


It is unfortunate that Governor Cuomo made this litigation necessary. The choice for New York is obvious. President Obama and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz say the process of hydraulic fracturing is safe. Natural gas provides a solution for air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions causing professor Richard Muller, one of the world’s leading climate scientists from the University of California-Berkeley to conclude that opposing shale gas is a “tragic mistake”. And, while our state’s policies have decimated the upstate New York economy, Texas recently reported a $2.6 billion surplus and predicts that taxes paid by energy development firms will be $8 billion by 2015.


Governor Cuomo’s inability to make a decision on HVHF has severely impaired New York’s energy future, driven companies like Norse into bankruptcy and signaled that New York is closed for business.


Governor Cuomo, we call on you to end this delay and make the right decision that will allow our communities and our state to enjoy the benefits produced by this American energy revolution.


Warm Regards,

Dan Fitzsimmons, President

Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.


FileDescriptionFile size
Download this file (Norse-Memo-of-Law.pdf)Norse-Memo-of-Law.pdf 219 kB
Download this file (Norse-Notice-of-Petition.pdf)Norse-Notice-of-Petition.pdf 298 kB
Download this file (Norse-Petition.pdf)Norse-Petition.pdf 3131 kB


+12 # keith yates 2013-12-19 10:00
Cuomo once again displayed his utter contempt for the rights of landowners just a few days ago by continuing his stonewalling. he's saying- go ahead, sue me. what does he know that we don't? is he confident that there isn't a judge (and jury) in this state that will rule against him?

this case will be a watershed moment. our grievances could not be much clearer. if it is not won we will have confirmation that we live in a Twilight Zone where laws don't matter- governed by Sheldon Silver, the NRDC, the Rockefellers, the Park Foundation, and C-list celebrities- with Cuomo as their puppet.
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+7 # keith yates 2013-12-21 14:23
on a related note- yesterday's announcement that NIMBY judicial activism has prevailed next door in PA is a very disturbing development. they will now have some 2500 municipalities regulating gas drilling instead of their state DEP.

i suppose on the one hand we will get to witness the ensuing chaos first-hand as drillers close up shop and the lawsuits start flying... while a great deal of common sense industry regulation is called for, there is simply no way to have a sane statewide energy policy with unqualified town board members calling the shots and creating patchwork bans.

NIMBYs are nothing but liars and fearmongers hiding behind the label of "environmentali st". they all consume and depend on the products they so vociferously rail against. it was fine when energy was produced far away by some magical esoteric process but by god they don't want it here.
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+4 # Kenneth Miller 2013-12-28 13:44
You may want to look at this from another perspective.
Gov. Cuomo may see this as his "out" so to speak.
"OK, so with this viable lawsuit, gee it's out of my hands so I have to lift the moratorium!"
This could be a way out for him, without having to side one way or the other.
And by the way, I don't know how many of you know this, but Cuomo's girlfriend, Sandra Lee, is totally AGAINST horizontal natural gas development!
So, unfortunately for Andy, he's getting hammered from both sides of the family!
I say, stop making this such a big deal, grow a pair, lift the dammed moratorium, and move on to other important issues in need of his attention!
Upstate citizens need this NOW, not in Nov., a day or two before he knows whether or not he got re-elected!
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+2 # Bill Owen 2013-12-30 10:27
He's got a few other things on his mind too. Mayor-elect Bill deBlasio is pushing his left-wing agenda hard, with the potential to kill jobs in NYC. He desperately wants to win big to enhance his (non-existent) chances for a presidential bid. He needs to look more centrist than he has.. This lawsuit gives him an out with the leftist environmental groups, but ONLY if he acts before the Court of Appeals decision. He can claim his hands are tied, and that towns can use zoning to control their destiny. Sadly he could come out of this relatively unscathed.
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