Posted by Greg Ball on Thursday, August 25th, 2011
As Sen. Greg Ball convenes his hearing on hydraulic fracturing today in Katonah, he won’t hear testimony from the natural gas industry.
Gas companies say that based on Ball’s prior comments about the controversial natural gas extraction process, they didn’t expect to receive a fair shake.
In a letter sent to Ball, the Independent Oil and Gas Association and the New York State Petroleum Council write that the Putnam County Republican’s take on hydrofracking (those probably include his sit-down with Liz) show the hearing won’t “provide the opportunity for a thoughtful and rational dialogue that we would otherwise hope for with you.”
Nonetheless, our industry – and the companies and people who work within it – have endeavored in recent months to provide measured, factual information and responsive input to the public, the media and elected officials and their staffs on issues relating to the Marcellus Shale in New York. We remain committed to safe operations in New York, just as we have been for more than 100 years.
Ball’s hearings also come as the state Department of Environmental Conservation is reviewing draft regulations for possibly allowing high-volume fracking parts of New York, especially the state’s Southern Tier.
At the same time, Attorney General Eric Scheniderman has subpoenaed gas companiesto determine if they oversold their natural gas claims to investors.
The Ball hearing highlights the divide Senate Republicans have over hydrofracking. Several joined Democrats last year to vote to approve a moratorium. But others, notably Sen. Tom Libous, R-Binghamton, have said gas extraction could lead to an economic boom for the jobs-starved region. But environmentalists say the process can harm the water table. (READ MORE)