gas drilling

But you knew that

Gas company to sue over town's drilling ban.  Update: here is the link to the same story at the IJ

Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to file a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Tompkins County to have the ban struck down in the town of Dryden, according to the company’s Albany-based attorney, Thomas West. He said he expected the lawsuit would be filed this week.
 

With the state moving toward allowing high-volume hydraulic fracturing, Dryden has been one of a handful of municipalities across the state that have altered their zoning regulations or passed legislation meant to ban the activity.

Read it all.  (h/t South)

Question: When is a scientist not really a scientist?

Ummm...let's see....

George Will put it to a "Republican" presidential candidate:
...For Jon Huntsman: You, who preen about having cornered the market on good manners, recently tweeted, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”
 
Call you sarcastic. In the 1970s, would you have trusted scientists predicting calamity from global cooling? Are scientists a cohort without a sociology – uniquely homogenous and unanimous, without factions or interests and impervious to peer pressures or the agendas of funding agencies?
 
Are the hundreds of scientists who are skeptical that human activities are increasing global temperatures not really scientists?
Here at Redneck Mansion, the answer to this post's title question is: For some people, probably at about the same point that an attorney is not really an attorney.  In an article in the Tompkins Weekly on gas drilling bans and DSEC:
DRAC leaders believe the bans will hold up in court, and have even questioned the motives of the some of the DSEC members. “Our bans will hold up in court. Mr. Kramer states he is an attorney, however, unless one is viscerally educated as to how industry's deliberate, calculated and frankly disturbing practices, one would be ill equipped to comment professionally, about the industry and its effects on our state.
"Viscerally educated"?
 
Good grief.
 

Forum on “Water and Energy Development” in Dryden, September 7th

The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition (DSEC) is holding the second in its series of public education meetings on energy development (the first was a legal issues forum held in Binghamton on August 22nd). The second forum is on “Water and Energy Development,” and will be held on Wednesday, September 7th, 7:30 – 9:00 P.M., at the Dryden Fire Hall on Route 13 in the Village of Dryden.  It will be hosted by engineer Ron Szymanski, a member of the Freeville Planning Board, and moderated by Dave Vieser, WHCU morning personality.  The public is invited.

Fair and balanced?

This story from WKTV-Utica from mid-July has some landowners both in NYS and in Bradford County, PA pretty steamed:

The landowners from both PA and NYS we met with in northeastern PA recently not only adamantly denied that the claims made in this report are true—and indeed made the case that the claims are demonstrably false—but were not happy with the NYS residents that they say come down in groups, not just to poke around Bradford and Susquehanna Counties looking for evidence of animals keeling over within two steps after drinking "contaminated" water, but to disrupt meetings of PA landowner groups. I was embarrassed to be a New Yorker.

And we saw some indirect evidence of the unwelcome presence of NYS anti-development people in Susquehanna County in the distinctly hostile behavior of a landowner when he spotted us in a vehicle with New York tags taking pictures of his land being prepared for drilling.  Can't say that I blame him—it's hard to imagine what he's had to put up with from the "anti's".

WKTV was supposed to do a follow-up to this story to provide some balance, but I couldn't find any evidence that they had in fact done so.  If someone knows of such a thing, please pass it along in the comments.

It would appear that it doesn't matter what you say as long as you're impeding progress.

UPDATE: Thanks to NY Shale Gas Now for the link to the follow-up story at WKTV that came about "after CNY landowners complained about the coverage":

WHCU interview on Dryden drilling ban..."We'll have to agree to disagree."

Dave Vieser's interview of Dryden Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner on WHCU this morning, following the town board vote on Tuesday evening to ban energy development within the town, is here—it's about 9 min., 30 sec.  Listen for Supervisor Sumner's response(s) to Vieser's twice-asked question about taking away property rights.

"A government of laws and not of men." -- John Adams

First, a little context...the highest-ranking law enforcement officer for NYS, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is, according to his bio at ny.gov, "responsible for representing New York and its residents in legal matters."  Got it?

And

Schneiderman has worked to restore the public’s faith in its public and private sector institutions by focusing on areas including public integrity, economic justice, social justice and environmental protection.

The alarms inside your head should be going off now.

He apparently also needs a copyeditor:

He was also a public interest lawyer for many years, representing taxpayers in historic lawsuits against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), tenants trying to evict drug dealers from their buildings, and women seeking access to health clinics.

This paragon of public virtue sued "tenants trying to evict drug dealers from their buildings, and women seeking access to health clinics"?  I'm pretty sure that's not what he meant, although it is what he said. But I digress.

According to the April 22, 2000 People's Weekly World (the earlier iteration of what is now the People's World, a Marxist newspaper based in NYC that is the official organ of the Communist Party USA) Schneiderman told the 2000 Working Families Party convention

There's been an incredible explosion of wealth...the two parties have presided over this shift, in which the rich have kept all the money.

Scheiderman added that due to tax cuts for the wealthy "there won't be any money for people's needs."

Got that?  It should sound real familiar to folks in Assemblywoman Babs' 125th district—and Babs and Eric are fellow travelers on gas drilling issues.

UPDATE: From South of 5 and 20Eric Schneiderman, you say? Al Sharpton's pal?  Good one...we'd momentarily forgotten that those two were BFFs.

Now fast forward to 2011.  AG Schneiderman wants to defend landowners' rights. Wait...in view of the above that sounds absurd, says you.  You're right—it is absurd:

....the U.S. government will seek a dismissal of the suit filed by Schneiderman’s office earlier this year [New York v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 11- cv-2599, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn). Citation at Bloomberg—tvm].  The AG filed his suit back on May 31, claiming the government is allowing the controversial natural-gas extraction process to move forward in the Delaware River Basin without a proper environmental review...
 

....“There’s not been a ruling yet,” Schneiderman said of the suit. “We’re dealing with the hydrfracking issue at several levels.”

Among those levels is the rights of property owners. Schneiderman said his office has received several complaints from landowners who say gas companies are trying to extend leases during the ongoing environmental review process from the Department of Environmental Conservation...

He added, “This is not a frack or don’t frack issue. It’s about the fair treatment of landowners.”

Whatever regulations the DEC does develop, Schneiderman would have to defend them in court...

Ah.

In view of AG Holder's selective enforcement practices at the federal level when it comes to laws he doesn't like and in view of AG Schneiderman's opinions on things like "social justice" and his public position on fracking when he was in the state senate, how do you think it will turn out in NYS if AG Schneiderman doesn't like how the DEC regs come down?

Me, too.

h/t Tom

The resistance stiffens

In today's Ithaca Journal:

Dryden -- A new group focused on hydraulic fracturing in Dryden said they are neither pro- nor anti-fracking, and its members do not all have leases, nor do they all have large parcels of land that are appealing to gas companies.
 

The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition members do not adhere to the "Drill, baby, drill" line of thinking, nor do they support the total drilling ban pending in the Town of Dryden, said Henry Kramer, one of the group's organizers...

RTR and, as always, read the comments, too.

The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition can be found here as well as in the "Local Links" block over there in the left sidebar.

Recent One of Nine posts regarding the upcoming August 2nd Dryden Town Board vote on a zoning ordinance amendment that would prohibit energy development in the town are here and here.

Thanks to NYShaleGasNow for providing the inspiration for this post's title:

A Dryden farmer speaks...

...very eloquently—Evan Carpenter on changing "viewscapes" and property rights, at the Dryden Town Board public hearing last Wednesday, July 20th.

Let's not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Mercifully, while we bitter clingers at Redneck Mansion here in greater metro Moonbatville have been otherwise engaged, The Lonely Conservative and company have been covering the energy beat....

Funny—Ayn Rand said this would happen:

Ronnie Bryant, the owner of a coal mine, showed up for a town hall style meeting on environmental justice in Alabama and after listening to all of the griping and complaining he made up his mind on how to proceed. He’s going Galt.

RTR.

But is Atlas actually shrugging?  One of LC's contributors who frequently writes on energy development issues, Unlikely Hospitalist, has a different take:

Highlighted by the Lonely Conservative herself is the untenable position that Ronnie Bryant finds himself. Reaching his wits end, he has decided to call it quits and throw in the towel. You could say he is going Galt and that may indeed be an apt description, but Mr. Bryant is quitting before the fight has been waged. These environmental activists are vocal, well financed fools and hypocrites who exert their influence through intimidation. They cannot win the arguments on the basis of fact or science and are left emotional gamesmanship to manipulate the masses....

Gee...do you think there's an alternative to this approach available? At the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition's website, it says that group's mission is

To offer balanced, data driven information on safe energy development, to logically and numerically evaluate benefit-to-risk ratios, free of emotional bias or ideology, and to bring together people interested in an analytical approach to energy issues.

But I digress...

...We are on the cusp of victory over an environmental lobby flush with cash and short on argument. The fight now is a political one and in spite of all the rhetoric, New Yorkers are anxious for an economic revival and cheap gas. Be strong, hassle your representatives and senators and don’t be afraid to speak out. There is plenty of time to go Galt, but don’t quit while the battle is being won...

Read the whole thing.

And lastly (for now):

We’re surrounded by so many stupid people who buy into the crap the left is spewing, but we’ll never see them turn off their power. Where the heck do they think it comes from?

So, Dryden residents, turn up the heat on our elected representatives. They intend to vote Tuesday, August 2nd, on the proposed amendment to the existing town zoning ordinance, an amendment that bans all energy development and associated activities (not just fracking per se) in the town:

Mary Ann Sumner, Dryden Town Supervisor: supervisor@dryden.ny.us

David Makar, Dryden Town Board member: dmakar@dryden.ny.us

Jason Leifer, Dryden Town Board member: jleifer@dryden.ny.us

Steve Stelick, Dryden Town Board Member: sstelick@dryden.ny.us

Joe Solomon, Dryden Town Board member:  jsolomon@dryden.ny.us

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