Thursday, February 28, 2013

Landowners Threaten to Sue NY if there's No Fracking

New York has done it again: missed another fracking deadline. And this time the Joint Landowners Coalition of NY (JLCNY) is putting its feet down; they're going to sue the state for not allowing fracking.

Why?Because, says JLCNY attorney Scott Kurkoski, "We've been denied all economic benefit to our property."
At issue is the delay of promulgating fracking regulations because, well, the Commissioner of Health is still working on a health study to determine whether - and how - highly industrialized unconventional drilling requiring high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing affects the public health. And the governor is waiting for him to complete the study before he decides whether or not to permit fracking.

This doesn't faze the JLCNY because.... well, because  apparently economic gain trumps health. The idea that the state might want to ensure that public health is not endangered is, to the JLCNY, a "takings". The fact that gas may not even be worth extracting doesn't seem to enter this equation.

Ensuring the health of the public now and for future generations apparently doesn't enter the equation either. Because, says JLCNY president Dan Fitzimmons, the "futures of our children, our communities and everything..." will be taken away if gas drilling isn't allowed.

Ironically, gas drilling IS allowed in NY. It's just one kind of gas drilling that isn't - and, by god, that's the kind JLCNY wants or it will sue. All they're lacking are the plaintiffs.

Meanwhile, other landowners who would prefer to breathe clean air, drink pure water, provide healthy pasture and forage for livestock, and grow nutritious food, wonder if drilling on their neighbor's land might not deny them "all economic benefit" to their property.


  1. Great points, Sue! Lots of landowners want fresh air, clean water and NO FRACKING! And I understand the "takings" argument is full of holes. Maybe the landowners should check with lawyers who don't stand to make a bundle whether their clients succeed or fail in their lawsuit.

    1. The threat of lawsuit doesn't seem to be well thought out. How can you sue a state for protecting citizens? How can you prove that you "might have profited" had something happened. Heck, that's more nebulous than the case the Supremes just kicked out for FISA and warrant-less wiretapping.

  2. Why?Because, says JLCNY attorney Scott Kurkoski, "We've been denied all economic benefit to our property."

    You have not. Plant something, grow something, harvest something, sell something you planted. Herd some goats and make some cheese and sell cheese.

    Stop crying, it will all work out if you let it.