Breitling Energy CEO: NY Court Fracking Decision a Bump in the Road

A recent Decision by New York’s top court, the Court of Appeals, upheld lower court rulings that allowed municipalities to ban the practice of fracking within their borders using zoning ordinances.

Rigzone asked Breitling Energy’s CEO, Chris Faulkner, about the New York decision and its likely aftermath.

Rigzone: Is NY Governor Andrew Cuomo likely to end the 6-year state moratorium on fracking in New Youk, or does the decision of the court make it likely that Cuomo will make the moratorium permanent?

Faulkner: Cuomo hasn’t said much either way, but my guess is that he is weighing the pros and cons, both political and financial, for his state. I’m sure he is weighing the balance between healthy economic development for New York, and appeasing the environmental groups who support his Democratic Party in a big way. My gut feeling is that he won’t make the moratorium permanent. He’s too smart a businessman to let that happen.

Rigzone: Assuming Cuomo lifts the ban, wouldn’t the decision by the Appeals Court create the potential for a hodge-podge in the state, with one community permitting fracking within its borders, and an adjacent community voting to ban it within its borders?

Faulkner: My guess is that drillers would go where the oil and gas is, and where there are no restrictions. As we’ll all seen, there’s enough oil and gas underground to supply America for an almost endless amount of time, and thanks to fracking, we can now free up those assets. What I think may happen is that people will look at the towns that allow fracking, see the financial gains and lowered taxes in those towns that are a result of letting the drillers in, and they will want them for their town, as well. It’s the same old story of “keeping up with the Joneses,” only this time, the Joneses have the oil.

Rigzone: Prior to the Appeals Court ruling, there was some speculation that if the ban were upheld, it would encourage anti-fracking efforts in other states, as well. How likely is this?


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