New York’s ideal gas law may seem simple.
But it’s not.
New York law has been in place since 2008, when the state’s new governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed an amendment to the state constitution that mandated that gas companies build new facilities in New Yorkers’ backyards, or even build gas stations there.
The law allows the state to regulate the use of gas, but it’s unclear whether it can be used to regulate a gas company’s right to develop gas wells.
“You have to find out who owns the land,” said John Miller, the New York attorney general who was instrumental in the law’s passage.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is now reviewing the gas law and hopes to issue a final rule on its application by December.
The state has already spent more than $200 million on new drilling infrastructure, Miller said.
The goal, he said, is to help communities get back on their feet.
But the law has not met that goal.
The law’s proponents argue that gas development is a way to boost economic activity and improve public health.
But critics say the law could allow gas companies to use eminent domain to expand their drilling operations in New Mexico and other states.
Miller said the state is concerned that gas leases could be granted for more than just the convenience of drilling, but also to provide incentives for companies to expand drilling sites.
“They’re not interested in building the infrastructure, but in taking advantage of the land that was already there,” he said.
“We’re going to do everything we can to protect the natural resources.”
The New Yorker is a major gas producer in New England, where a new natural gas pipeline was approved in 2015.
Cuomo’s administration says the gas drilling is necessary to keep New York gas prices stable, but critics say it’s also a cheap way to extract gas.
The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that New York would need to drill more than 1,400 wells over a decade to meet demand, and it estimates that the new wells could cost up to $30 billion.
In recent months, the energy secretary has warned the New Yorker to reduce the size of the proposed new gas wells to avoid damaging the state climate.
The company’s CEO, William Dudley, said the company would consider “all reasonable alternatives” to the gas leases.
The government is considering requiring that companies invest in more than 100 years of infrastructure in order to ensure that their wells are safe, he told the New Yorkers.
“That’s our responsibility to protect New York and the environment,” Dudley said.
Meanwhile, a New York Senate committee is also weighing a bill that would allow people with disabilities to obtain an exemption from the gas leasing law if they live in communities with gas infrastructure.
The bill, introduced by Democratic state Sen. John Mica, would also prohibit the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from requiring gas companies that lease their land to install additional infrastructure.
Mica told the Times that the legislation was intended to protect people with special needs from having to rely on expensive, out-of-state energy companies to develop and operate their wells.
“I think we need to protect their right to the land they have, and we should not allow them to be discriminated against,” he told reporters.
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