Interactive town hall meeting to discuss pros and cons of drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale deposits will feature U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey as well as New York City, New York State, and gas industry representatives.

The event will take place Monday, March 8 from 5:45 to 8:00pm
on the SUNY New Paltz campus.
KINGSTON--ScheinMedia and the SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force are pleased to announce the roster of panelists for the public forum, "The Future of Gas Drilling in New York State," on Mon., March 8 from 5:45 to 8 pm at SUNY New Paltz...


The event features a panel discussion between James Gennaro, chairman of the New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee, Kate Sinding, senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), David Spigelmyer, vice president of government relations for Chesapeake Energy, Stuart Gruskin, executive deputy commissioner, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Wes Gillingham, program director, CatskillMountainkeeper. ScheinMedia founder and CEO Jonathan A. Schein will serve as a moderator of the panel. 

The panel discussion will be followed by a town hall forum for the audience to pose questions for the speakers and a closing keynote by U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey.

The Marcellus Shale, which spans four states, including large parts of New York, is one of the largest gas deposits in the country. With energy and economic security issues facing the country, the future of gas drilling in New York is one of the most important economic and environmental issues the state has ever confronted. Faced with an enormous state deficit, New York State Governor David Paterson is attempting to balance intense pressure from landowners and the gas industry, with several serious environmental issues and concerns raised by anti-drilling groups and New York City, which seeks to protect its watershed from potential contamination and environmental damage that may result from gas drilling. The economic benefits associated with gas industry development must be weighed against potential harm to human health and the environment.

Of major concern is hydraulic fracturing, "fracking," the controversial drilling technology that opened shale gas deposits across the country to profitable drilling, and which is exempt from federal safe drinking water laws. It's up to the states to develop regulations on the process and conduct oversight. 

Massive amounts of water and chemicals are used in hydraulic fracturing, a technique developed to access oil and gas trapped in hard-to-reach shale formations. In the autumn of 2009 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urged state regulators to further study the environmental impact and establish "essential environmental protection measures" before drilling permits are issued by the state DEC, which oversees drilling in New York. However, there seems to be debate within the EPA on this issue, as a February 16 Dow Jones News Report stated: "State regulators are doing a good job overseeing a key natural gas production technique called hydrofracking and there's no evidence the process causes water contamination, a senior federal environment official said Monday."

The March 8 event is organized to allow both pro and con opinions to be expressed about gas drilling in the region. The forum will include a panel, keynote address by Congressman Hinchey, and a town hall forum with the audience.

The forum is being organized by Paul McGinniss, ScheinMedia's Green Advocate columnist; ScheinMedia; and the SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force. The event will take place in Lecture Center room 100. For directions, visit

Parking: Use Lot 2 for Lecture Center, located on the western edge of the campus off Fairview Ave. From intersection of Rte. 299/32 and Rte. 208, turn south on Rte. 208, then turn left (east) onto Hasbrouck Ave., turn right onto Tricor Ave., turn left onto Mohonk Ave. and finally right onto Fairview Ave. Alternately, park at Sojourner Truth Library lot. Visit: for campus map.
For further information about this event, contact Paul McGinniss at [email protected] or (845) 626-2999. 
The SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force is a voluntary group of SUNY students, faculty, staff, and community members who promote environmental education and sustainable practices on the SUNY New Paltz campus. For more information, contact Brian Obach at (845) 257-3447.

ScheinMedia is a diversified media company formed in 2006 by Jonathan A. Schein. ScheinMedia's holdings include New York House, and, a home magazine and website which specialize in residential and multifamily real estate, green building, design, construction, and green living in New York; New Jersey & Company and, a magazine and website on Central and Northern New Jersey business and real estate;, a daily news service devoted to green real estate and business issues for the Metro New York area and the nation; NYinc and, a magazine, website, and conference medium for the New York City commercial real estate, law, finance, and economic development community;, a national jobs service devoted to the green real estate and building market; and, a national press release wire service for commercial and residential real estate. 
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