Millions spent in Albany Fight to Drill for Gas

Millions Spent in Albany Fight to Drill for Gas
November 25, 2011 – New York Times
By Thomas Kaplan

ALBANY — Energy companies have been pouring millions of dollars into television advertising, lobbying and campaign contributions as the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo enters the final phase of deciding when and where to allow a controversial form of natural gas extraction that is hotly opposed by environmental groups.

Companies that drill for natural gas have spent more than $3.2 million lobbying state government since the beginning of last year, according to a review of public records. The broader natural gas industry has been giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign accounts of lawmakers and the governor. And national energy companies are heavily advertising in an effort to persuade the public that the extraction method, commonly known as hydrofracking, is safe and economically beneficial.

Environmental groups, with far less money at their disposal, are mounting a more homespun campaign as they warn that hydrofracking — a process in which water mixed with sand and chemicals is injected deep into the ground to break up rock formations and release natural gas — could taint the water supply and wreak untold environmental ruin….


Albany Crawling on Gas Drilling Decision

After Early Gallop, Albany Slows to Crawl in Making Decision on Gas Drilling
New York Times
Mireya Navarro, February 6, 2012

When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo took office last year, his administration seemed to be in hurry-up mode as it decided whether to allow hydraulic fracturing, a controversial gas drilling process. State regulators kept to tight deadlines to produce for public review an environmental impact study and proposed drilling rules, and the state’s top environmental official said drilling permits could be granted as early as this year…..

Fracking Land Grab

Feds Pave Way for Fracking Industry to Perpetrate Biggest Land Grab in U.S. History
The Stuart Smith Blog, February 6, 2012

Officials from Central New York Oil & Gas recently informed landowner Bob Swartz that the company plans to cut “a 50-foot-wide, 400-foot-long gash through an ancient stand of trees” in his front yard to clear the way for a $250 million, 39-mile natural gas pipeline in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania. Not surprisingly, Mr. Swartz balked at the company’s heavy-handed plan, recommending an alternate route for the pipeline out across an open field. Company officials promptly swatted aside Mr. Swartz’s suggestion, and with brazen indifference, offered instead to pay him for the wood from the felled trees……

New Report by Agency Lowers Estimates of Natural Gas in U.S.

New Report by Agency Lowers Estimates of Natural Gas in U.S.
New York Times, January 28, 2012

WASHINGTON — Just how much natural gas is trapped underground in the United States?

The difficulty and uncertainty in predicting natural gas resources was underscored last week when the Energy Information Administration released a report containing sharply lower estimates.

The agency estimated that there are 482 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the United States, down from the 2011 estimate of 827 trillion cubic feet — a drop of more than 40 percent. The report also said the Marcellus region, a rock formation under parts of New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, contained 141 trillion cubic feet of gas. That represents a 66 percent drop from the 410 trillion cubic feet estimate offered in the agency’s last report.

Welcome to the New and Redesigned Catskill Mountainkeeper Website

We have changed our look, added substantial amounts of new content and improved our navigation so that it will be easier for you to find the information that you are looking for.

We encourage you to visit our site often so that you can stay informed about the important issues that are relevant to our region and our state.  We will be continually updating and improving it.

Please tell your friends about the website and encourage them to get involved. We’d love to hear from you and have added a “Contact Us” section on each page for your convenience.

Join Catskill Mountainkeeper in Albany on January 23, 2012

The public hearing period run by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to get input for their revisions to the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Study (SGEIS) on fracking is almost complete. The next step in the battle to prevent unsafe and unhealthy fracking in New York is to impact the legislative agenda.  Overwhelming momentum was generated from the SGEIS hearings as so many of you came forward to testify with great emotion, logic, facts and conviction about the threats of fracking.  Crowds had to be turned away because the hearing rooms were packed. The result was increased positive media coverage, a re-commitment to action by those of us who are convinced of the dangers of fracking and an important opportunity to impact the undecided.  Read the full alert…