Andrew Cuomo facing court battle with energy company over fracking moratorium

posted at 4:01 pm on December 8, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been in the news fairly often of late, and not just in his home state. The Democrat has been the frequent subject of some admittedly long-shot speculation over a 2016 presidential run if Hillary passes on the ticket. (Personally, I would find a Cuomo candidacy hilarious, not to mention good news for the GOP, when he tried to explain to the rest of the nation how he signed the NY Safe Act, one of the most restrictive and odious gun control laws in the nation.) When he was elected Governor of New York, he ran on a hazy platform when it came to several controversial issues in the state, none more so than the question of fracking. Vowing to take an “honest look” at the situation, along with the already existing moratorium on the process, he promised that action would be taken one way or the other.

As it turned out, nothing could have been further from the truth. Cuomo has kicked the can down the road repeatedly, claiming he needed to wait for this or that scientific study or opinions from across the nation. Unfortunately for the private sector, some energy companies actually believed his original claims and invested in leases which may have proven fruitful had drilling begun. One company in particular paid a heavy price, and now they’re looking to hold him accountable.

Maybe the courts will finally force Gov. Cuomo to do something he should have done five years ago: make a decision one way or the other on fracking.

It never should have come to this. People elect governors to make decisions, not kick them down the road until elections (or presidential primaries) are safely passed.

But the governor continues to dither, and an energy company that has gone bankrupt while waiting says it’s going to sue unless the governor and his agencies release the environmental-impact statement the governor says will guide his decision yea or nay.

The company is Norse Energy, which has leased 130,000 acres for gas drilling upstate. Earlier this year, the Norwegian based company pulled the plug on its New York operations, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company says it lost $30 million here because its leases became all but worthless once the governor started ­delaying.

So Norse has notified Albany that unless Environmental Protection Commissioner Joseph Martens announces within two weeks when its long-overdue fracking review will be finished, it’s prepared to take the matter to court.

There’s more to the story than just Norse losing money, of course. That’s bad news for one company. There are more in the same situation which simply haven’t reached such dire circumstances yet. But even more importantly, all of the jobs which would have come for New Yorkers from the development of these resources never arrived. This has led to the continued trend of the upstate counties above the Marcellus Shale deposits losing population, now to the point where the state has lost two congressional seats. The negative effects play out downstream from there, and yet we sit on our hands waiting for Cuomo to make a decision.

That’s some real leadership right there, friends. And this guy wants to be President.


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I’m not much different from Andrew Cuomo. I probably agree with him on 98% of the issues.

Remember who we keep being told is really a conservative?

Fenris on December 8, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Cuomo’s problem is he wants to run for president in 2016, but has no idea whether or not he should try and pander to the left or the more moderate parts of the Democratic Party. The latter option only makes sense if Hillary doesn’t run, but until he knows for sure, he’s just going to keep trying to kick the fracking can down the road. Never saying ‘yes’, but also never completely saying ‘no’ because surrounding states already are all-in on the procedure.

jon1979 on December 8, 2013 at 4:16 PM

That’s some real leadership right there, friends. And this guy wants to be President.

So does David Vitter and that isn’t happening either.

New Yorkers are getting what they deserve. Radical feckless government racing California to some sort of a nanny state socialist utopia.

Happy Nomad on December 8, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Happy Nomad on December 8, 2013 at 4:18 PM

What did I do to deserve him?!

ThePrez on December 8, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Cuomo’s problem is he wants to run for president in 2016, but has no idea whether or not he should try and pander to the left or the more moderate parts of the Democratic Party.

jon1979 on December 8, 2013 at 4:16 PM

I agree completely and that is the problem with politics these days. Cuomo’s so scared about picking the wrong side that he does nothing. Chris Christie is on a circuit all over the nation telling audiences that the only job he really wants is governor of New Jersey.

Simply put, for the political class your only real responsibility with your current elective position is setting yourself up to get a more important elective position.

Happy Nomad on December 8, 2013 at 4:23 PM

All Norse had to do was throw some money to the Governor. Works with Democrats every time. Just ask King Barack the Magnificent.

GarandFan on December 8, 2013 at 4:47 PM

He wouldn’t be any worse than the current President, who seems rather driven by the wind himself.

unclesmrgol on December 8, 2013 at 4:47 PM

And where are the NY Republicans making an issue of this?
Why did they let De Blasio win with only 17% of registered voters?
Only 22% of NYers voted for Mayor.
National Republicans should be screaming about this. Yes the city is Blue but it also voted for Republicans when they put up viable candidates. Not Joe “I’ll keep jackin’ fares and tolls” Lohta. That guy was one of the most hated guys in the tri-state.
People bitch about the Christine O’Donnels and Sharon Angles. Why no bitching about the Lohta’s and Paladinos? Why isn’t Christie trying to build the party in the region? Republican apathy and incompetence are just as responsible for De Blasio and Cuomo as anything. These guys aren’t rock stars. They’re totally beatable. Yet the Establishment doesn’t even try.

Iblis on December 8, 2013 at 4:51 PM

What did I do to deserve him?!

ThePrez on December 8, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Well for starters, living in a state where one downstate region gets to make all the elective decisions. Maryland and California have much the same problem.

When I was living on the west coast, my Congresscritter’s big issue was federal funding for gang tattoo removal so Hispanics could find jobs. This was and is not my primary concern. You don’t deserve Cuomo but New York does since the majority of voters don’t have a problem with his leadership.

Happy Nomad on December 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM

New York State is dragged hard left by NYC.

Give me the $ to move, Happy Nomad, and I will.

vityas on December 8, 2013 at 5:25 PM

…it’s New York!

KOOLAID2 on December 8, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Media Blackout on Ukraine, Iceland, and Thailand?

Murphy9 on December 8, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Andrew Cuomo

…no one cares about this dirt bag!

KOOLAID2 on December 8, 2013 at 6:56 PM

You N’easters like to think you’re so phucking smart, but the majority of you are some of the dumbest m’ucker’s on the planet. You keep telling yourselves you’re smart, cause you can’t quite believe you live in such a third world hellhole, thinking it will make you feel better about yourselves. I mean, you people are too “smart” to live in such a dump, right? Paying 75 dollars for steak for two makes you enlightened, right? Your idiots and you elect idiots for leaders. Sympathy…none. HA N’easters exempted, of course.

msupertas on December 8, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Chesapeake drops energy leases in fracking-shy New York

Good luck to Norse Energy. Even Chesapeake gave it up last summer….

cynccook on December 8, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Lock him up and that creepy cooking show host, too.

viking01 on December 8, 2013 at 8:13 PM

…actually believed his original claims and invested in leases which may might have proven fruitful had drilling begun.

Tzetzes on December 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM

But even more importantly, all of the jobs which would have come for New Yorkers from the development of these resources never arrived. This has led to the continued trend of the upstate counties above the Marcellus Shale deposits losing population, now to the point where the state has lost two congressional seats. The negative effects play out downstream from there, and yet we sit on our hands waiting for Cuomo to make a decision.

Keep in mind that Cuomo regards all “upstaters” as reactionaries who are a threat to the “True, Enlightened Utopians” of Albany and NYC. As such, he probably thinks this is an improvement, helping him purge “disloyalists” from the Congressional delegation.

His ideal situation, I’m sure, would be two Senators and one Representative who did only and exactly what he told them to. In a Congress where NY’s “vote” equaled 51% of the total.

Imagine what sort of President he would be.

I could easily see him and The One battling it out over which of them was the one, true disciple of… Huey Long.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 8, 2013 at 9:24 PM

He is dithering because he thought he’d find a reason to ban it and he can’t

1.2 million fracked wells without a single instance of water aquifer contamination.

90% of all wells drilled now in the USA are fracked. Just how much do you want to pay to heat the house and the business? How much do you want to pay for electricity now that coal-fired plants are being shuttered and new plants are powered by nat gas?

It’s just money in the bank, and every last retrievable ounce will be produced eventually.

The one good thing the delayers are doing for their areas is that the gas and oil will be more expensive and produce more tax revenue later.

Meremortal on December 8, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Leave the oil in the ground. Why let the New York and places like it just piss the money away. Their policies will eventually result in a collapse and maybe some people will get a clue. Let the people who have gained some wisdom get the benefit.

sammus on December 8, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Personally, I would find a Cuomo candidacy hilarious, not to mention good news for the GOP, when he tried to explain to the rest of the nation how he signed the NY Safe Act, one of the most restrictive and odious gun control laws in the nation.

Good news for the GOP? Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo are peas in a pod.

Christie who the GOP would dearly love to have as their candidate for President, stated in Feb 2013 “I’m not much different from Andrew Cuomo. I probably agree with him on 98% of the issues.”

RJL on December 8, 2013 at 10:58 PM

I work in the gas fields about 15- 30 minutes south of Binghamton, NY. Half way between Scranton and Elmira has at least 1k wells.
I have guys/kids showing up looking for jobs. They’re willing to drive an hour each way for $15/hour. We’re building a pipeline right through NY/NJ to the ports. Once liquefied it brings good export money.
Cumho has had 5 studies done in the last 3 years, all pro Fracking. He’s just waiting for that 1 whacko to publish falsehoods & he’ll justify his dithering. NY has a Quisling!

I’ve seen my gas heating bill go down every year for the last 3 years, LEASED my 71 acres out @ 5k/acre, and got a job out of the deal too.
Yeah, this stuff has to stop ASAP!

hutch1200 on December 9, 2013 at 12:52 AM

The one time I think I have actually watched Cuomo on TV he didn’t seem overly bright. Add to that the baggage of being a very liberal New York governor, who backed Obamacare, and you have a non-starter of a campaign. Of course if Christie is the Republican nominee anything could happen. Many like me would not vote for either.

claudius on December 9, 2013 at 12:53 AM

He sounds perfectly suited to be President, judging from recent trends in the occupancy of the office.

IndieDogg on December 9, 2013 at 1:37 AM

Cuomo’s a lefty simpleton stooge. Clinton played him like a fiddle, and even the Kennedy’s think he’s a low-life thug. Even Obama hung him out to dry when he jammed the gun controlling SAFE act down our throats.

joe btfsplk on December 9, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Why can’t I get the image of Chico Marx out of my head when I see Andy?

Wander on December 9, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Can they sue to get their lease money back? They signed a lease to do fracking with the state. The state has dragged their feet, while collecting the rent. It would be like renting out a place and not having construction done for 5 years, but getting rent from the new tenant.

djaymick on December 9, 2013 at 11:11 AM

He and Obama are s.o.o.o.o much alike. Obama won’t make a decision on the Keystone pipe line and Cuomo on fracking. And fracking has been in use since 1947; now with horizontal drilling it opens up billions of barrels of oil and natural gas beyond belief. But no in NY nor in MD either. The MD governor is studying it into the ground too.

amr on December 9, 2013 at 2:04 PM