It’s Up to You, New York
EID launches new online feature encouraging New Yorkers to comment on draft DEC natural gas plan
Washington, D.C. – Should the state of New York finally put in place the regulations needed to convert the potential of clean-burning natural gas from the Marcellus into the reality of thousands of new, high-wage jobs for New Yorkers? That’s the question the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) put before the state’s residents in October, and it’s one the Energy In Depth coalition is encouraging the public to respond to with the help of a new online feature launched this afternoon.
Available at EnergyInDepth.org, the site will now carry a New York-specific page with links and information on the draft DEC regulatory plan, along with a sample letter and submission form that residents can use to quickly and easily make their views known in Albany. The comment period is slated to expire on December 31, leaving little more than three weeks for New Yorkers to stand up and defend a plan that balances the economic future of the state with the environmental imperatives of safe water, clean air, and open spaces.
“Nearly 190 years of producing clean-burning natural gas in New York has demonstrated that we can do it safely, efficiently, and in a manner that creates jobs and revenue for those who live here,” said Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York. “With the state’s unemployment rate at nine percent, there’s never been a more critical time to leverage our homegrown resources into economic opportunities for the future. The DEC plan envisions a future in which that work can take place, and sets out the rules, standards and regulations needed to protect our environment while we’re doing it.”
Coming in at an overwhelming 804 pages in length, the DEC draft plan was released in September after nearly three years of study and research by the agency. If approved, it would allow the state to proceed one step closer toward the future possibility of exploring the prolific Marcellus Shale formation, an 8,000-foot-deep reserve that some researchers estimate could hold more than $1 trillion-worth of clean-burning, job-creating natural gas.
“The draft DEC plan ranks among the most aggressive and comprehensive regulatory proposals ever introduced,” said Lee Fuller of Energy In Depth, a coalition of small and independent energy producers formed earlier this year. “Remarkably, some of the same interest groups that claimed to play such a prominent role in shaping it are now working tirelessly to defeat it – aware that the absence of a workable regulatory framework is tantamount to the defeat of even the most responsible, tightly-regulated exploration.”
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