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July 23, 2013

New York's Moratorium on Shale Development Hits The Five Year Mark

On July 23, 2008, then-Governor David Paterson ordered the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to update its 1992 Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for oil and gas drilling by performing a formal supplemental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act of the environmental impacts of horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing (the technology necessary to develop deep shale formations).  Then-Governor Paterson’s pronouncement and the attendant process of preparing the Supplement to the GEIS (SGEIS), consisting of a myriad of regulatory documents and significant public comment and controversy, has resulted in a complete halt on shale development in New York. Today marks the anniversary of this halt on high-volume hydraulic fracturing and shale development in New York.  Sadly, the moratorium is now five years in the making with no discernible end in sight.  As a result, New York, and particularly the Southern Tier, continues to miss significant economic opportunities and the chance of energy independence.  Let's hope the Administration moves forward soon, releases the final SGEIS and brings this five year standstill to an end.

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