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Local News

August 30, 2013

N.Y.'s highest court to hear frack suit

(Continued)

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York Inc. in Binghamton welcomed the pending review by the Court of Appeals.

“The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and our 77,000 landowners are ecstatic over the New York State Court of Appeals’ decision to review the lower court rulings in the Middlefield and Dryden cases,” a prepared statement said.

“These decisions have wreaked havoc in our towns. Local municipalities are simply not equipped to decide issues affecting our state and national interests in producing clean domestic energy,” the statement said. “New York cannot have a ‘not in my back yard approach’ to energy development.”

Cooperstown Holstein and the natural gas industry have argued that the development, production and utilization of oil and gas resources in New York is governed and regulated by Department of Environmental Conservation under the state Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law.

“We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals will protect the rights of landowners and allow New York to realize the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas while allowing our nation to maintain its course towards energy independence,” Kurkoski said.

Huntington, operator of Cooperstown Holstein Corp., has argued that the town of Middlefield’s zoning change in June 2011 put a stop to her plans to have a conventional gas well on her property.

A telephone message left at Cooperstown Holstein early Thursday afternoon wasn’t returned by 5:30 p.m.

Norse’s challenge to Dryden’s drilling ban has been closely watched by an industry that wants to drill in New York’s piece of the Marcellus Shale formation using fracking technology. The rest of the formation is located under parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

The hydraulic fracturing bans in Middlefield and Dryden stand in the way of needed economic investment, according to Karen Moreau, executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council.

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