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The Capitol Pressroom for April 4, 2012


Half of today’s show is devoted to pro-fracking interests and half is devoted to anti-fracking interests.


Tom West of the West Law Firm

is best known as an oil and gas attorney & lobbyist, and one of the lawyers who argued against home rule in both the Middlefield & Dryden cases.  Today he joins us to talk about why he is appealing, as well as a “newly discovered” Encon memorandum that he claims will shed light on the state’s oil and gas laws.

Then taking a very different view of hydrofracking, Josh Fox, producer of Gasland, says communities in Pennsylvania are taking a cue from New York and fighting back against the state on drilling.

Plus, Claire Sandberg of Water Defense updates us on water issues in Dimock in light of the EPA’s report.  And representing a contingent of anti-drillers from all over the state, Rochester’s Harry Davis previews a rally & protest on the issue taking place this afternoon at the Capitol.


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4 Comments to “The Capitol Pressroom for April 4, 2012”

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  1. Larry Ames says:

    I am a listener and greatly appreciate the reporting and interviews of Susan Arbetter. However, I am also a member of the Tioga County Landowner’s Coalition and I strongly object to Susan’s characterization of our membership as holding up the development of gas resources in PA and Ohio as a model or desirous (as well as other related presumptive, unsupported and inaccurate statements). Our organization was formed to PROTECT its members against the abuses of the gas industry seen in those states and others, and we have worked long and hard to ensure that what we see as the inevitable extraction of our gas resources is done in the most environmentally sound and least socially disruptive manner while also working to maximize the economic benefits to our landowners and locales. I believe that Susan has a personal bias against gas development that is seeping in to her public work. I am an environmentalist and joined our coalition to protect my land and our environment. I believe that position is typical of our group and we are being misrepresented. I encourage you to invite some of our leaders to Albany to give you the straight story about our goals and intent. WE are ground zero for this development in New York, not Albany. You should be presenting a picture from our perspective.

    Thanks for your good work!

  2. Larry Ames says:

    Also: Regarding “Half of today’s show is devoted to pro-fracking interests and half is devoted to anti-fracking interests.”

    I see ONE: “Pro-fracking” speaker (Tom West), who spoke about a cut & dried legal issue (the finding of lost documents relating to the creation of the law giving NYS sole authority over gas drilling.

    I see THREE: “Anti-fracking” speakers (Claire Sandberg of Water Defense; Josh Fox, producer of Gasland; & Rochester’s Harry Davis previews a rally & protest)

    I’d say the mix is 1:3.

    Additionally, anyone who really understands the issues of natural gas development, should by now realize that it is far from a black & white issue. Adding to the polarization in this issue is NOT helpful. While I believe that there is a clearly definable “Anti-fracking” contingent that would be against natural gas extraction in NYS under ANY circumstances (many of them oddly enough burn natural gas in their homes every day), and there are a few crazies who are “Pro-fracking” of the “drill-baby-drill” variety, I think you will find most supporters of natural gas development to be very cautious and looking for responsible development of the resource. I suggest that instead of your current label “Pro-fracking”, which I see as wholly inaccurate in describing non-Anti-frackers, you use “Responsible Development”. I believe that is what you might use for a label for our Governor and it would be more fair to refer to people like me who are the majority of those looking to careful development of natural gas resources in NYS in that manner as well.

  3. mike bosetti says:

    Tom says fracking is for the “greater good”. Really?

    So it’s ok to invade rural American communities, adversely impact lives and other industries like agriculture, real estate, and tourism, hijack private land, cheat leased landowners on royalties, contaminate water and air, prevent enactment of responsible energy policy, expedite climate change, cause litigation over everything from fraudulent lease extensions to home rule, corrupt democracy with enormous contributions to lawmakers who then create industry friendly legislation like the 2005 energy act and the present version of compulsory integration, and then ship American gas to more lucrative foreign markets.

    My lease, along with all the leases in Cortland County, was sold to Stat Oil of Norway for $4.1 billion. Chesapeake even brags it makes more money flipping leases than extracting gas.

    “Greater good” apparently is referring to the Oil and Gas industry, not the rest of us. Tom is not a “super lawyer”, he’s a super BS’er and an expert at distorting facts.

  4. Tony Henderson says:

    Tom West states that by the time LNP export facilities are up and running China and other countries will be developing their own resources and therefore US natural gas will stay in America. Interesting logic, wouldn’t you say? Build export facilities that won’t be able to export due to demand?

    Deborah Rogers has documented that LNP storage/export facilities are being built in Maryland, Texas and elsewhere. More DOE approvals are pending. The higher the price of these resource, the greater the demand export this US commodity. Our bridge fo clean energy leads offshore.


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