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December 09, 2010 02:49 PM UTC

New York gets a taste of Colorado

  • by: Duke Cox

A friend sent me an email with a link to this story. I have copied the first few paragraphs to set up the article, which I highly recommend all you rig-huggers out there read.

What interests me is the name of the Colorado company doing the drilling. Anschutz? Really?

I wonder if Sen. Bennet can be found among the shareholders in this gas play?…

Marcellus Shale: The Real Price of Compulsory Integration In New York  

Tuesday, 07 December 2010

Written by Peter Mantius

The natural gas industry made Joe Todd an offer he couldn’t refuse.

He told them no, but New York State’s industry-drafted 2005 “compulsory integration” law made resistance pointless.

Todd had turned away a landman who tried last year to convince him to lease his property to a Denver-based gas driller. Then he received an official letter in January that said he had to surrender his subterranean property rights for a financial stake in the same Colorado driller’s new well operation less than a mile from his home in Big Flats, N.Y. He ripped up the letter and threw it in the trash.

The drilling started up anyway.

In September, Todd’s neighbors, Donetta and Paul Morey watched their well water turn black in their sinks and toilets. When they tried to test for methane by lighting a match near the well, a flame shot into the air, singing Donetta’s eyebrows and setting her hair on fire. She quickly pulled away and patted out the flames.

Todd turned to bottled water after his well water suddenly turned murky and smelly, shortly after gas drilling began. Two days later, the well water Todd and his family had relied on for 22 years suddenly turned murky and smelly. So had the well water of at least seven other households in this stable, middle-class neighborhood just north of the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport. The residents suspected that their water problems were linked to the gas drilling, but state and local officials dismissed those suspicions.

Realizing that the burden of proving a connection was on their shoulders, Todd and the others started meeting regularly with an eye toward hiring an attorney and a water tester. Some members of the group, including the Moreys, had signed leases with the drilling company, Anschutz Exploration Corp. Several others, like Todd, had declined.

But the state’s compulsory integration statute cancels their right to refuse to deal with a gas well driller.

The legislation was a product of the Independent Oil and Gas Industry of New York, according to Christopher Denton, an Elmira attorney who has represented landowners in dozens of compulsory integration cases.

“This is IOGA’s statute,” Denton said of the industry trade group. “They drafted it, introduced it, got a sponsor for it and pushed it through with no legislative hearings whatsoever.”

If it seems to many at this site that my posts have grown nastier and more abusive than ever before, it’s because they are. I am fed up. I am through being nice.

If you are an oil and gas industry worker and you continue to sit quietly, enjoying your big fat paycheck, and never challenge your own industry, then you are just as guilty as the boss you try to blame it on.


7 thoughts on “New York gets a taste of Colorado

  1. Links like this are what make blogs worthwhile.

    Imagine our very own Phil, Mike’s old friend and benefactor, being involved in shenanigans like this! And here you thought Republicans believe in property rights! Well, their property rights, sure. And speaking of wells, can a young sprout raised on brackish water grow up to be a man of the people? Being a better choice doesn’t make for a good choice.

    But back to His Eminence domain. Is this story about

    –the wealthy using the government to promote their never-ending greed? Or

    –what happens when our country has no energy policy democratically achieved, bearing in mind that we do have a national energy policy–arrived at in various board rooms in Houston or NYC or, yes, wherever Phil happens to be double-parked?

    Lastly, in response to PB above: nationalism went out of style in 1945 or so. Whether the corporate logo uses Latin script or Chinese characters, the objective is the same: Gimme more.

    Oh yeah, about the headline. Dukeco1 shouldn’t worry whether the tone of his writing no longer sounds like Mickey Mouse (not saying that it ever did). We’re in a war Big Time, can’t worry too much about offending the Whipped Cream Sundae school teachers. ‘Cause the answer is, No, we can’t just get along together–unless we fancy grilling the hot dogs over the toilet.

  2. how the right is all about property rights except when their benefactors want to take your rights to abuse your property when they want to for their profits. Just like the eminent domain crap in building Coors Field.

    If you think you have property rights, stories like this and the New London, CT fiasco should certainly disabuse you of that notion.

  3. It is interesting how property rights disappear when there’s money to be made.

    Should shoot this link over to Caldera at the Independence Institute. They’ve got a private property rights project there, so it would be interesting to see how the “drill baby drill” crowd at II positions themselves on this story.  

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