Natural Gas Drilling May Not Be Happening In New York This Year

01.20.12 | Sarah Harnisch

Political experts are saying gas drilling won't be starting in New York in 2012. Panelists on both sides of the issue discussed the future of natural gas drilling in upstate New York at a roundtable yesterday in Johnson City. Brian Shea, Legislative Director for Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of Endwell, said "it doesn't look like the issue is going to be resolved this year, based on what we're hearing from the governor, and the fact that there hasn't been a budget request for it." Even environmentalists like Walter Hang, owner of the Ithaca-based group Toxics Targeting, admitted the pace is slow-- but he said he'd rather have the D.E.C. take its time to review the 40-thousand comments, then allowing harm to occur. Author Tom Wilber, who wrote a book on the shale rush, also predicted-- no drilling finalized-- this year. Right now, there are virtually zero requests for leases to drill anywhere in the state-- even if it's just to be ready for when the bill is passed.