ALBANY, NY (11/10/2009)(readMedia)-- The Independent Oil & Gas Association (IOGA of NY) today presented comments at a roundtable discussion hosted by New York State Senator Antoine M. Thompson (D-Buffalo).
Sen. Thompson, chair of the Senate's Environmental Conservation Committee, is gathering information as the state considers allowing expanded natural gas exploration in New York's Marcellus Shale.
Brad Gill, executive director of IOGA of NY, explained the oil and gas industry's outstanding record of operational safety and water protection, as well as the science of exploring for and extracting natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. Trapped in the rock formation are trillions of cubic feet of gas enough to improve the nation's energy independence for decades, create thousands of jobs and bring billions of dollars in economic benefits to individuals, municipalities and the state.
Gill asserted that environmental concerns surrounding hydraulic fracturing are adequately addressed in the draft SGEIS. "New York is sitting on a geologic gold mine," Gill said. "Technological advances in the drilling and extraction processes, combined with New York's strict regulatory environment including a more stringent SGEIS should give regulators, policymakers and residents enough assurances that this clean fuel source can be harvested safely and efficiently without posing threats to the state's environmental resources."
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is conducting hearings of its own across the state as it revises the state's Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS). Once the SGEIS is approved, operators can begin applying for drilling permits. Gill said further delays and overly burdensome regulations could force operators to abandon plans to explore in New York.
"If the SGEIS isn't approved soon, operators and producers may continue to direct investment elsewhere and New York will lose a golden opportunity," Gill said. "In other words, some operators may opt out of the Marcellus Shale play in New York altogether."
IOGA of NY is a trade association founded in 1980 to protect, foster and advance the common interests of oil and gas producers, professionals and related industries in the State of New York. For additional information on natural gas exploration, as well as a copy of today's testimony, please visit IOGA of NY's informational blog: www.marcellusfacts.com.