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Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

A.9414 (Lifton) / S.7377 (Schneiderman)

Support

SUBJECT:

Natural Gas Extraction Liability Act

 

DATE:

June 5, 2010

 

The Business Council opposes this legislation which would enact “strict liability” and “joint and severable liability” standards on anyone engaged in any natural gas exploration, drilling, transporting or hydraulic fracturing activities.

These standards of liability will slow development considerably as landowners think twice about leasing their land for drilling.  A land owner would be just as responsible for any adverse incident relating to a natural gas well than any company or other party using the land for gas exploration purposes. 

The potential liability costs would ultimately deprive property owners and whole communities the opportunity to assess the potential economic benefits of natural gas development on their own land.  This would significantly delay economic development opportunities, which will drive jobs and economic growth for many financially strapped communities and provide extraordinary end use savings for customers who burn clean, abundant and domestically produced natural gas.

Hydraulic fracturing is a safe natural gas extraction process that has been performed in New York and around the country for years without any serious incidents. New York has very strict well permitting process whose standards ensure clean safe drilling that protects the environment and public health.

For these reasons the Business Council opposes adoption of A.9414/S.7377.