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Ninth District
Broome County Legislator

 

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Serving the towns of Colesville, Sanford, Windsor, and the villages of Deposit, Harpursville, and Windsor
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Gas Leasing

Gas & Oil Company interest in developing the Marcellus Shale Deposit
which underlies our entire area is potentially
the most transforming change to occur here in generations.

I have been involved with trying to bring information to our community since even before taking office as the 9th District Broome County Legislator. I organized an educational meeting with recognized experts (Panel members included Matthew Brower of the NYS Department of Ag & Markets; Christopher Denton, an Elmira lawyer with considerable experience representing the interests of land owners in gas-leasing disputes; and Ashur Terwilliger, president of the Chemung County Farm Bureau) as early as May of 2006 in the hopes that land owners would be better informed and better positioned for any negotiations with potential gas leasers. As most of you are aware, since that time, our area has experienced something of a natural gas rush.

I have always maintained that it is essential that we do all in our power to

  • MAXIMIZE THE BENEFITS for our community ECONOMICALLY while we simultaneously
  • MINIMIZE THE DAMAGE to the environment-- BOTH the NATURAL ENVIRONMENT and the SOCIAL one.

Knowledge is crucial. To achieve our goals, we need to continute to educate ourselves.

Here on this page, I include information for landowners and anyone else interested to learn more, as well as news about my efforts to bring information on a municipal level to be sure that our infrastructure and natural resources are protected. I have also provided links at the bottom of the page to some of the sites targeted to educating our citizens.

INFORMATION FOR INDIVIDUALS
MY EFFORTS ON A MUNICIPAL LEVEL
Landowners here in the Windsor-Colesville area have formed a strong coalition to collectively bargain with the gas & oil companies. Known simply as the Windsor/Colesville NY Oil & Gas Lease Coalition, the group is composed of landowners, a steering committe of coalition members, and an expert staff that includes lawyer Christopher Denton, environmental consultant with decades of oil and gas experience (and life-long Windsor resident) Bob Williams, consulting petroleum geologist Don Zaengle, and a CPA to develop a customized lease. As their inclusion of an environmental consultant suggests, the coalition's goals are much the ones that I have stated above: to achieve a balance between economic benefits and minimization of environmental damage while doing their best to maintain the integrity and character of our community.

The owners of the mineral rights, which for most of the land in our area would mean individual landowners, will have the leading role in influencing the impact of the gas rush on our area but municipalities too will have a role.

The role of municipalities will be more limited than you might at first expect because federal and state laws regulating gas drilling operations typically will pre-empt local regulations. However, there are aspects over which we do have control. I have been designated by Mark Whalen, chair of the Broome County Legislature, as the legislature's liason on gas leasing issues to work with Broome County government on coordinating efforts to protect our infrastructure--our roads, bridges, landfill, etc.-- and our natural resources-- county parks and area waterways. As such I have organized and will continue to hold information sessions and educational meetings to keep our elected officials informed about the risks and the potential of gas leasing in our area.

LINKS OF INTEREST

 

Broome County Government Gas Lease Page
Press & Sun Bulletin Gas Lease Page
Windsor/Colesville NY Oil & Gas Lease Coalition

 

STEVE HERZ WORKS FOR YOU

last updated 9/27/2008

Copyright Stephen Herz All rights reserved.