The shale boom continues, the fracking controversy continues, and the protests continue. New York State has resisted the whole affair so far, but that is about to change, as the state intends to announce a decision regarding fracking shortly after Labor Day.
A positive decision could have far-reaching impacts. For example, the Lyons Hill Farm, which is family-operated, has been around for 150 years and is deeply in the red. Sinking milk prices and a barn fire in 2009 means the farm loses $7,000 a month today.
But if the state decides to allow gas drilling, then the farm becomes a prime spot, since it sits atop the Marcellus Shale, and the family heritage can be salvaged.
We’ve already seen this sort of benefit in Pennsylvania. Property owners who have leased land to gas operators could make as much as $2 billion or more just this year.
New York, driven largely by environmental concerns, has avoided taking a stand on fracking for four years. Albany’s Department of Environmental Conservation has stated that even if fracking becomes permissible, it would be subject to the strictest regulations and oversight in the country. The Department is responsible for writing regulations governing such operations.
The state will likely legalize the process after the Labor Day deadline, removing the moratorium set in place in 2008.
When the decision is released, a detailed list of regulations will be provided to the public.