Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — October 6, 2011

Business Council tells Assembly sGEIS provides pathway to natural gas drilling and economic growth

ALBANY— In testimony given today before the Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, Heather Briccetti, acting-president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. stressed the need for New York to move ahead with a balanced approach to development in the Marcellus Shale

As part of her testimony she stated, “Over the past two and a half years, the State of New York has engaged in one of the nation's most complex and thorough reviews of one single process; the extraction of a natural resource. The Department of Environmental Conservation under the leadership of two Commissioners with strong environmental records have investigated and planned for the high and low probability factors associated with natural gas drilling. It is time to move forward.”

The Public Policy Institute, the research arm of The Business Council, recently released a report on Marcellus Shale development entitled Drilling for Jobs: What the Marcellus Shale could mean for New York.

The study finds that creating as few as 300 natural gas wells per year in the Marcellus Shale has the potential to generate more than 37,500 jobs annually in New York. The report details the significant job-creating potential of the natural gas resource, comparing the private sector growth of select counties in the Southern Tier with a section of northern Pennsylvania.

After pointing out a number of concerns with proposed requirements, Ms. Briccetti concluded, “I would like to once again state, that The Business Council believes the Department of Environmental Conservation has gone to great lengths to create a plan that is balanced in its approach. It is a plan that protects the public and the environment while allowing for vital economic development that will produce green energy and good-paying jobs. We encourage the Department of Environmental Conservation to move this review process forward so that it can begin permitting these wells and policing New York's production operations.”