On Monday evening, the New York State Assembly gave final approval to a six-month moratorium on natural gas extraction in New York, while state and federal agencies review its possible impacts.
The moratorium, which calls for no drilling permits to be issued until May 14, 2011, was approved by the state Senate in August, and then the Assembly approval that followed on Monday.
Here's the full article from the Towanda Daily Review.
In Pennsylvania Marcellus news, here's another article from the Towanda Daily Review about Governor-Elect Corbett and an advisory committee he has established. The gist of the article:
The 30-member panel includes former state environmental secretaries, environmentalists and alternate energy representatives as well.
Corbett formed the committee to advise him on issues and impending decisions involving the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Public Utility Commission before he takes office Jan. 18.
These three agencies have a regulatory role over the natural gas drilling boom underway in Northeast Pennsylvania and other regions on issues ranging from drinking water protection, drilling on state forest land and pipeline safety.
Corbett has said he wants to develop the Marcellus Shale gas deposits as a long-term economic venture while maintaining environmental protections. Efforts to reach Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley Wednesday were unsuccessful.
The Marcellus lobbyists on the panel have other major businesses and organization clients too.
They include Peter Gleason of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Gates who represents Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and Chesapeake Appalachia, two firms active in Northeast Pennsylvania, according to lobbyist disclosure reports with the Department of State. Cabot is at odds with DEP over whether the company's natural gas drilling is responsible for water supply contamination in Dimock Twp.
Also lobbyist Stanley Rapp with Greenlee Partners who represents Range Resources-Appalachia, CNX Gas Corp. and NextEra Energy Resources. He represents PPL Corp. as well.
And lobbyist Pam Witmer with Bravo Group who represents Chief Oil and Gas, Chief Gathering LLC and RRI Energy.
The panel is chaired by David Kleppinger, an attorney with McNees Wallace and Nurick who lobbies for the Industrial Energy Consumers of Pennsylvania.
David Hess and Nicholas DeBenedictis, former DEP/DER secretaries under Govs. Mark Schweiker and Richard Thornburgh, are on the panel. So is John Oliver, a former DCNR secretary under Gov. Tom Ridge.
George Ellis, president of the Pennsylvania Coal Association, and Ellen Ferretti, Dallas, vice president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council who works on Pocono land issues, are on the panel. Patrick Solano, Pittson, a former DEP deputy secretary, and John Rich, owner of a coal waste power plant in Schuylkill County, are members.
I wish the committee was made up of mostly environmental scientists and activists, as opposed to mostly industry puppets. We understand where Governor-Elect Corbitt's priorities are.