The New York State Petroleum Council today said that New York is at a crossroads – it can move forward with the safe development of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region, bringing with it hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic output and tax revenues, or it can sit on the sidelines.
"The economic benefits of producing our domestic energy resources go hand-in-hand with the energy security and environmental benefits of a domestically-produced low emission fuel," said Cathy Ann Kenny, Associate Director of the New York State Petroleum Council. "This is particularly true in a state like New York where natural gas constitutes 26% of the state's energy consumption and fuel prices remain the third highest in the nation."
For comparison, in 2010 alone, the neighboring Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took advantage of the extraordinary opportunity provided by the Marcellus Shale and has experienced $11 billion in economic activity; the generation of $1.1 billion in state and local taxes while supporting 140,000 jobs.
In 2010, electric and natural gas bills of residential homeowners and customers in Pennsylvania were lower by $245.1 million and the benefits to landowners were equally profitable – $1.6 billion in lease and bonus payments were made in this same year, according to a recent Penn State University study, "The Pennsylvania Marcellus Natural Gas Industry: Status, Economic Impact, and Future Potential."
"Today, the Department of Environmental Conservation will hear testimony from many individuals and organizations," said Kenny. "Its only obligation, however, is to put politics aside and establish a regulatory framework based on sound science and engineering principles that will allow the responsible production of energy from shale to proceed in New York. In some respects, the 2011 amended SGEIS falls short of this goal. Prohibitions and setback requirements appear arbitrary and will cause more adverse impacts which are contrary to industry recommended practices. In addition, the lack of certainty in the permit process is troubling."
Kenny added that the oil and natural gas industry is "prepared to work with DEC and other stakeholders to remedy these issues to ensure a vigorous regulatory program that provides appropriate environmental safeguards while permitting natural gas production to go forward while spurring economic development, not just in the Southern Tier, but throughout the state.
The New York State Petroleum Council is a trade association that represents oil and gas industries doing business in New York. Members include Amerada Hess Corporation, BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell Oil Company.
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