Natural gas and oil development in New York State


To examine various issues associated with the expansion of natural gas and oil development in New York

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
10:30 a.m.
Elmira College
Hamilton Hall
Corner of College and Washington Streets
Elmira, NY

Natural gas production in New York is at historically high levels. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) 2003 New York State Oil and Gas Leasing Report, 36 billion cubic feet of natural gas were extracted from New York wells in 2003, twice the amount extracted in 2000. This figure is expected to increase in the coming years as natural gas developers continue to tap into the Trenton-Black River formation which accounted for more than two-thirds of total production in 2003. In March 2003, the Department held a lease sale on 21 tracts totaling 26,500 acres of State Reforestation Areas and Wildlife Management Areas in Steuben and Schuyler counties. An additional 24,266 acres of state land in Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Schuyler, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties were put out for bid in 2004, bringing the total amount of state land subject to lease to just over 100,000 acres.

The DEC is also responsible for the oversight of oil and gas exploration and development on private land, as well as ensuring that such development is protective of the environment and public safety. While the DEC does not regulate private agreements between land owners and operators, the DEC does provide guidance to private landowners interested in leasing their land for oil and gas development. These leases are the subject of recent concerns including landowner concerns about the methods used by energy companies to secure leases and energy company concerns regarding the sharing of costs and production revenue with landowners.

The purpose of this hearing is to examine various issues related to the expansion of natural gas and oil development in New York, including the financial aspects of natural gas exploration and extraction, the rights of private landowners and local communities with respect to gas and oil leasing and development, and the level to which current state law and regulation address these issues. The hearing will also investigate methods to ensure that natural gas and oil development is protective of the environment and that abandoned wells are reclaimed properly.

Oral testimony will be accepted by invitation only and limited to 10 minutes duration. 10 copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Written testimony will also be accepted and may be sent to the contact person listed on the reply form. In order to further publicize the hearing, please inform interested parties of the Committee's interest in receiving written testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Thomas P. DiNapoli, Member of Assembly
Chairman, Committee on Environmental Conservation


Persons invited to present testimony at the public hearing on Natural Gas and Oil Development to be held on November 16, 2004, or who wish to submit written testimony only, are requested to complete and return this reply form by November 4, 2004 by mail or fax to:

Jeff O'Donnell
Committee Assistant
New York State Assembly
Program & Counsel Staff
Capitol/ Room 520
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4363, Fax: (518) 455-5182

(It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.)

I plan to attend the following public hearing on November 16, 2004 to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation.

I have been invited to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 5 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.

I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.

I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:







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