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Joint Landowners Coalition of NY Inc.
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Binghamton NY 13902

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By Jon Campbell in Politics on The Hudson 4/10/2014

New York’s top health official will work his last day May 4, according to a letter he sent to Department of Health employees Thursday.


The Department of Health on Wednesday said Commissioner Nirav Shah would be resigning at the end of June to take a job with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in southern California.

But in his letter to health department workers Thursday, Shah said his final day would actually be nearly two months earlier.

“It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing my departure as the Commissioner of Health for New York State,” Shah wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau. “I have accepted a position as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer for Clinical Operations for the Southern California Region of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. My last day at the Department will be May 4.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health could not immediately be reached to explain the discrepancy. confirmed Shah’s last day will be in early May, and blamed the inaccurate information Wednesday on a miscommunication.

Shah’s resignation comes at a crucial time...


 April 9, 2014 by in Politics on The Hudson

The state’s Health Department commissioner is resigning at the end of June amid criticism over his drawn-out review of whether New York should move forward with hydraulic fracturing.

commissioner_shah_with_governor_cuomo_600x400Nirav Shah, who was first appointed in 2011, is leaving to become chief operating officer for clinical operations for the southern California region at the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, the Health Department said in a statement.

The announcement comes on the same day that Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino called for Shah to resign, citing the ongoing fracking review and a lack of inspections in women’s health facilities.

The health department’s statement denied that Shah’s decision was sudden, saying “This move has been in the works for a number of weeks.” State officials said Shah began telling associates last night about his departure.

Howard Zucker, the agency’s first deputy commissioner will serve as interim commissioner.

New York has had a de facto ban on fracking since 2008, and Shah has been reviewing fracking since September 2012.

Supporters and critics of fracking have pressed Shah to be more transparent about his review and to conclude it, leading to lawsuits against the state by advocacy groups.

Cuomo has said any decision on fracking would be made based on the science and the state’s review.

In December, Shah defended the process, saying scientific studies must be conducted in private to maintain objectivity.

“The process needs to be transparent at the end, not during,” Shah told reporters.


WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Sally Jewell surprised House lawmakers during a budget hearing Thursday by giving a qualified endorsement of hydraulic fracturing, a process opposed by many environmental groups.

Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, who asked Jewell her opinion of the safety of fracking, put out a press release even before Jewell’s testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee was finished.

In an interview outside the Capitol, Lamborn said Jewell’s remarks were politically advantageous to fracking supporters. “It helps defeat the bogeyman that some people have made fracking out to be,” he said.

Lamborn acknowledged that Jewell’s remarks could help fracking supporters at the ballot box in November, especially among independents who represent roughly one-third of the state’s registered voters.

A majority of Independents and Republicans in Colorado are supportive of fracking, according to a November Quinnipiac University poll. While 53 percent of Independents said fracking was very or somewhat safe, 81 percent of Republicans also agreed.

Jewell told the House panel that the safety of fracking depended on the quality of the cement used to carry the liquids.

“It absolutely can be done and has been done safely and responsibly,” Jewell said.

A former engineer at Mobil Corp., Jewell prefaced her comment by underlining her experience with the...


By Alex Benedetto Tuesday, April 01, 2014 4:05 PM ET in

Natural gas producers that exposed themselves early to the now-bountiful Marcellus Shale will reap more benefits than producers in other North American shale plays, even if U.S. natural gas prices decline, according to a new report from Moody's.

In the March 31 report, Moody's said the size and location of the Marcellus, close to high-demand markets in the Northeast and Midwest, gave its producers a significant advantage over those in other regions, such as the Barnett and Haynesville shales.

"Geographically, the Marcellus is close to end market demand in the Northeast, and natural gas is cheaper to produce. Those two factors allow the Marcellus to stay profitable even if natural gas prices suffer prolonged weaknesses," Mike Sabella, associate analyst at Moody's, told SNL Energy. Sabella was the lead author of the report.

A key aspect of the pricing advantage in the Marcellus is efficiency, the report said. Lower natural gas prices had not deterred investment in the Marcellus but instead forced producers to adjust drilling techniques, switching to longer laterals, shorter hydraulic fracturing stages and pad drilling, according to...


By William Perry Pendley In New York Post 4/3/2014

Jon Kark of upstate Fenton is suing Gov. Cuomo because he’s sick of spending just a week or two a year with his family.

Kark is part of a coalition of New York landowners who last month sued Cuomo and top officials at two state agencies in pursuit of their right to develop the rich Marcellus Shale beneath their land. (The plaintiffs are represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, which I head, and New York counsel.)

The state has stalled for six years on letting New Yorkers develop energy on their land, and these residents have waited long enough for the endlessly promised environmental study.

For six generations, Jon Kark’s family’s has held their land in north central Broome County, northeast of Binghamton. He and his wife Patricia use their 353 acres to run 50 head of cattle as well a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian camp his father created in 1970.

Jon Kark would rather run cattle, operate his trucking company, help with the camp and spend time with his wife, four children and four grandkids — but for the last six years he has been everywhere but home.

Good news: In July 2007, Kark leased his mineral rights to an independent oil and gas company for a five-year term. If the company drilled, made a discovery and produced natural gas, it would pay a royalty. Bad news: The potential value of that gas increased his property taxes.

More bad news: In July 2008, then-Gov. David Paterson imposed a moratorium on permits for wells using horizontal drilling and...


“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been.” Kurt Vonnegut.  It might have been New York residents with this benefit and advantage in gas production. Never forget this issue rests squarely on Cuomos shoulder's and we all can all kindly help him relieve the terrible burden it must be. JLCpulse


Global Credit Research - 01 Apr 2014 in Moodys Investor Services


 New York, April 01, 2014 -- Exploration and production (E&P) companies that extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale play will benefit more than natural gas producers elsewhere in North America, and their advantage isn't likely to change anytime soon, Moody's Investors Services says in a new report, "Marcellus' Natural Gas Bounty Rewards Early Adopters."


Marcellus producers' low-cost, highly productive wells will be economic even if gas prices weaken, the report says.


"Technological advancements since the early 2000s have allowed US natural gas producers to reshape the industry largely through the development of the Marcellus," says Associate Analyst Michael Sabella, the author of the study. "The Marcellus has emerged as one of the most profitable regions in the US for producing natural gas, so even if prices return to the weak levels of 2012, producers there will be rewarded."



Energy independence would allow the US to reassess its role on the world stage

The holy grail of American leaders over the past four decades, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, has been energy independence, and thanks to shale oil and gas, the dream could soon become reality.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and oil giant BP certainly think so - they believe the US will be energy independent by 2035.

As Mr Obama said in his State of the Union address last year: "After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future."

No-one is suggesting America will stop importing power overnight, but being largely self-sufficient in energy could have widespread implications not just for the US, but for the rest of the world.

As the IEA says, a persistent trade deficit can act as a drag on economic growth, manufacturing and employment.

If the US achieved energy independence, not only would the country spend far less on cheaper, domestically generated power, but the money would be going primarily to US-owned energy producers.

The US's oil import bill also constitutes about 2% of the country's annual...


ByMichael Lynch Contributor in Forbes April 3, 2014

The role of methane in global climate change is important but often overlooked. Possibly this is because methane burning emits less CO2 than coal and oil, and many environmentalists consider fuel-switching to lower GHG emissions, rather than eliminate them with renewables, morally unacceptable. However, with the recent success of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in lowering natural gas prices, environmentalists, failing to find any serious damage from the practice, are now grasping at the greenhouse effect straw to oppose the practice.

Now the Obama Administration is announcing its intention to reduce methane emissions as part of its campaign to address the issue of climate change, and the usual suspects have pulled out the knives, intending to strengthen, modify, mutilate or kill any new regulations. Industry opposes any regulation, while environmentalists insist they are never good enough.

Flatulence is outside my area of expertise (well, cattle flatulence, at least), as is agriculture (despite coming from a long line of farmers, I can’t grow anything more than rabbit food) so I will address aspects relevant to the petroleum industry, estimated to account for 10% of methane emissions, less than one-third of agricultural emissions. The fact that this is a minor part of overall GHG emissions is interesting, but hardly makes it irrelevant. Climate change is not a single source problem, and won’t be...


By Jay F. Marks   Published: April 3, 2014 in The Oklahoman 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general should not duplicate previous reviews of hydraulic fracturing, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt isn’t high on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest review of hydraulic fracturing regulations.

Pruitt on Wednesday sent a letter to the office of the inspector general at the EPA in response to a Feb. 5 memorandum detailing plans to evaluate how the agency and states have done in regulating the process’s impact on water resources.

“I am concerned that this project is politically motivated and ignores the EPA's three previous failed attempts to link hydraulic fracturing to water contamination,” Pruitt wrote. “The U.S. Department of Energy has investigated hydraulic fracturing's potential harm to water supplies and found no evidence linking the drilling technique to groundwater contamination.”

Energy companies have ushered in a domestic oil and natural gas boom with hydraulic fracturing, a process that involves injecting large quantities of water mixed with sand and chemicals into tight rock formations to free trapped hydrocarbons.

Critics contend the...


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Joint Landowners Coalition of NY
PO Box 2839
Binghamton, NY 13902