Binghamton/Conklin Gas Coalition

Serving Binghamton and Conklin Property Owners

Voter Support Needed | Be Right

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners, and Natural Gas Supporters,

As you know the Democratic Assembly and Governor Cuomo are doing all they can to delay or ban Natural Gas development. What you may not know is that the Senate, controlled by 29 Republicans in a coalition with 5 Democrats who formed the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), has been our line of defense against the attempts to ban NG development and similar adverse legislation. This situation has made our progress slow, but thanks to the Senate we have not lost ground.

In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, the Governor and state Senator Jeff Klein, Senate co-leader and head of the chamber's Independent Democratic Conference, indicated that the IDC's five members will form a majority coalition with the Senate Democratic Conference and end their partnership with Senate Republicans after the 2014 elections in order to address core Democratic policy initiatives.

The Democrats, along with the “Working Families Party” (WFP), have five main policy initiatives. Banning NG development is one of those five.

Even traditional mainstream Democrats should be upset by this move to accommodate WFP’s anti-gas stance. It is imperative that we defeat this attempt to take control of the Senate, ban NG development, and give downstate complete control over the legislative agenda. We must support the Republicans in their efforts to remain in office and in control of the Senate and give them a Republican Governor to work with as well. To accomplish these goals upstate voters must vote in record setting numbers this fall.

As maddening as this news is, it can help us. We can take our anger and focus it on accomplishing the points I made in the previous paragraph. In fact, we must!

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Arguments In The Two Home Rule Cases | Dryden &Middlefield

UALA'S Richard Downey reports on the June 3, 2014 Middlefield and Dryden court hearing/oral arguments

The “home rule” case was heard in Albany’s Court of Appeals this afternoon. Albany is in Iroquois country and the four attorneys each had to walk the gauntlet during their allotted twelve and a half minutes of oral argument. The questioning was constant; the content was wide-ranging, and the attorneys were always at a tactical disadvantage of having to reply respectfully even if the questions were off the mark or purposely argumentative.

In this Court, both sides were subject to close questioning. Our attorneys did well, under the circumstances. The oppositions attorneys -- not so well. In the five hearings related to home rule, this is the first time I’ve seen the attorneys for the opposition substantially challenged. Deborah Goldberg, representing the Town of Dryden, made some head-shaking answers to some of the questions. John J. Henry, representing the Town of Middlefield, never closed his argument. In fairness, this is difficult to do when the questions were coming in from all sides.

Tom West, representing Norse Energy‘s bankruptcy trustee, was up first. He essentially asked the Justices to read the original ECL 23-0303 {2}, the supersession clause that supersedes ALL local law except those dealing with road and taxes. From there they should follow that up with earlier texts from 1941, 1963, the original ECL law (and its purpose), the SGEIS, etc. The State must have the power to regulate both the “how“ and the “where“ in oil and gas. There is no rational comparison of ECL 23 0303 {2} to the gravel mining law that permits local zoning and has been misinterpreted by the antis.

Attorney Scott Kurkoski, representing Jennifer Huntington‘s Cooperstown Holsteins, took the Justices out of the courtroom into the real world. Should 932 separate towns determine s New York State’s energy policy? Does this patchwork scheme serve national energy policy? Has there ever been a national “gravel mining crisis?” Do the towns have the expertise to supervise drilling? Is energy and conservation policy served when a town’s electricity provider switches from coal to gas to serve State energy goals while the town’s Board of Supervisors bans all gas related activities?

In final rebuttal, Attorney Tom West noted the “chilling effect” that the home rule issue has had on drillers contemplating New York. There was a pause by the Justices on hearing this remark.

A few times in the questioning and again in the final comment, the Justices seemed to have wished that this matter could have been settled in the legislature. However, it’s in their court now. Expect a finding in a few months.

Video of the arguments will be posted on the Court of Appeals website in the Oral Arguments Archive on Monday at noon the week following the oral argument. That will be Monday, June 9. It takes about an hour. I would be interested your reactions.

My reaction -- mild optimism.
Keep the faith,

Best Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Call On Governor Cuomo | America's Leaders Already Have

As part of our ongoing efforts to advocate for landowners' rights and to bring the benefits of NG development to everyone in NY I'm requesting all NG supporters to call on Governor Cuomo to ask him to join forces with America's leaders. Please look below to view the leaders' positions and the phone number/s to call.

Supporters Of Fracking

President Barrack Obama

"Natural gas is the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change."

Hillary Clinton

"The U.S. is on track to surpass Russia in domestic oil-and-gas production. That’s good news.”
“What that means for viable manufacturing and industrialization in this country is enormous.”

Senator Chuck Schumer

"Overall, the Democrats throughout the country have supported fracking. The President has, most of us have, and it's worked quite well."

Opponents Of Fracking

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Vladmir Putin

Yoko Ono

Hydraulic fracturing is an American innovation that has reduced our dependence on foreign oil, decreased energy costs, reduced greenhouse gas emissions at levels exceeding Europe’s failing and highly subsidized renewable programs and is supported by our national leaders and every state with an opportunity to develop our domestic resources, except New York. Unfortunately, there are those who oppose our Nation’s energy resurgence, support unrealistic energy options, have no regard for the ability of our businesses to compete, deny opportunity to dying communities and are willing to sacrifice our Nation’s progress for their own political ambitions.

Call Governor Cuomo and demand that he join America’s energy leaders. 518-474-8390 or 212-681-4580

Please share this announcement with any and all supporters you know and thanks once again for showing your support for Natural Gas development in NY.

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Important Upcoming Meeting | See You There!

Meeting of the membership of the Binghamton/Conklin Gas Coalition
Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Susquehanna Valley High School
To inform members of important updates & latest developments
Directions To The School

It's been a long time since we've had a meeting. A lot has happened since the last meeting and there will be much to go over.

Our Speakers

Bob Williams

Vice President of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, will give a presentation regarding the Ad Valorem Tax. Many times people have said that they don't own much land, therefore, gas development won't benefit them that much. This presentation will show that gas development will benefit everyone that lives in our communities through the additional School, County and Town tax revenue generated by each well. Come and see how much it will benefit you!

Scott Kurkowski

Attorney with Levene, Gouldin & Thompson, (our Attorney), will be giving an update on New York State gas development and our lawsuits.

Spread The Word To Your Family And Friends About This Important Meeting!

Best Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

New Yorkers Strike Back | Cuomo Still Trying To Dismiss Lawsuit

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners, and Natural Gas Supporters,

The following link will take you to the News Release by William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF). Scott Kurkoski and MSLF are representing the JLCNY in our lawsuit against NYS and Governor Cuomo.

To view the news release, please select the following link News Release Can Be Found Here

Best Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Dryden-Middlefield Lawsuit | Update

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners, and Natural Gas Supporters,

Earlier this week a brief was filed in regards to these important lawsuits that seek to reassert landowners' rights to develop their natural gas reserves according to established state regulations and not be denied by unconstitutional and irrational town bans and moratoriums.

To view the brief, please select the following link Brief Can Be Found Here

Please share this information with any and all supporters. Thank you for your support for, and interest in, this important issue. It is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Seismic Testing | What You Need To Know

Siesmic Testing Graphic

As landowners, you want to protect your property. You may be visited by land men from Texas seeking permission to allow seismic testing on your property. This would involve you signing a lease. You may be offered $5.00/acre. Following is information that you need to know.

You will need to hire an attorney to look over the contract to ensure that your landowner rights are protected. The $5.00/acre is not likely enough compensation for the legal fees. The seismic contracts are vague and your attorney will need to spend time adding protections for you, the landowner. Following are potential problems with seismic testing:

The seismic testing companies drill 30' deep holes that they don't fill back and compact. These holes go straight down and could break the leg of livestock, horses and/or people treading upon them, as well as problematic for children and adults riding ATVs. The liability issue- for example, a neighbor rides their horse on your property, the horse falls due to an unfilled hole, which results in the rider falling and breaking his/her neck.

Nothing in the contract addresses the possibility of damage to wells, foundations, trees, and vehicle ruts. The income you earn from the $5.00/acre counts as taxable income on the gross. This does not include expenses needed to cover the attorney fees needed to get protected.

This seismic testing doesn't benefit us NY Landowners at all. It actually could work as a disadvantage to leasing your property. The day will come when we will want Seismic Testing done with a proper contract that will protect and benefit NY Landowners. We will keep you updated as to when that time is.

This timely article on seismic testing will be of interest to you:

Best Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons

Siesmic Testing Article Fancy Footer Image

Press Poll Back | Vote Now

The Press Has Reopened The Poll.  Please Vote Again.  

If we can get another 4,000 votes we'll be at about 75%. Please pass the word to vote in this poll...

I'm sure that there are still a lot of us who intended to vote but haven't yet. Now is your chance! Please vote now before the poll closes.

It's free, no personal information is required, and it takes less than 30 seconds, so please follow through with this action right now and then forward it to all of your friends, family, and acquaintances so they can show their support as well.

State Delays Again | Are You Surprised?

Our State has delayed our rights, yet again.
The case of Mark Wallach, as Trustee for Norse Energy v. New York State et al., first scheduled to be argued on January 24, 2014, was adjourned to March 7, 2014. Now it has been adjourned again. No new date has been provided but our attorneys believe the Norse and JLCNY cases will be argued together sometime in April.

Mountain States Legal Foundation President, William Perry Pendley, is coming to New York. Mr. Pendley is the keynote speaker at a celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the PropertyRights Foundation of America, Inc. in Latham, New York on April 8, 2014. I encourage you toattend. Here are links to the event and to Mr. Pendley’s bio.

We will let you know as soon as a court date has been scheduled for the Norse and JLCNY cases.

Lawsuit Update | Cuomo vs. Our Rights

Our lawsuit against Governor Cuomo, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health was filed on February 14, 2014. Our 70,000 landowner lawsuit received widespread national attention. Thank you for everything you did to make this effort possible. (WSJ Article)

Thank you also to the Mountain States Legal Foundation. Their assistance has been invaluable. On February 14, 2014, MSLF President William Perry Pendley appeared on Fred Dicker Live from the State Capitol. Here is a link to the podcast. Mr. Pendley’s segment starts at 29:10 minutes. (Fred Dicker Live)

As many expected, the New York State Attorney General has already requested an adjournment of the proceedings. Over the opposition of our attorneys, the court gave the Attorney General until April 4, 2014 to respond to our Petition. Oral argument will be scheduled as soon as a judge has been assigned to our case. It’s hard to believe that after 6 years, our State continues its deliberate attempts to delay the SGEIS.

The case of Mark Wallach, as Trustee for Norse Energy v. New York State et al. is still on the court calendar to be argued on March 7, 2014.

We encourage Governor Cuomo to move forward with real economic opportunities instead of proposing a continuous stream of economic development gimmicks. He only needs to look to our neighboring states to see how they have benefited from the development of our domestic resources. (Ohio article)

We hope Governor Cuomo will move New York out of the politics of paralysis and join our Nation’s leaders who have embraced the miracle of this American energy revolution.

We will keep you updated as the litigation against our state continues. As always, thank you for your support.

Listen In | Talk 1300 Radio Interview

Listen Here

Listen to Fred Dicker (Live from the State Capitol) talk with William Perry Pendley Esq. (President and Chief Legal Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation) about the lawsuit filed by the JLCNY this past Friday, Feb. 14, 2014.  

Our segment begins at 29:10.  You'll gain a clear understanding of where we've been and where we're going. 

Fundraiser Update | Amazing Results

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners, and Natural Gas Supporters,

I always knew that Landowners and Natural Gas Supporters had the courage of thier convictions. But even I understimated just how strongly you want to realize the benefits of safe and responsible Natural Gas development in NY.   I never expected that the fundraising for our flagship strategy of suing NYS and Governor Cuomo would be as wildly supported as it has been.

But just a moment ago, WE BLEW THROUGH OUR $18,000.00 GOAL IN FAR LESS THAN THE TWO WEEKS TIME LIMIT!!!!!! And I expect we'll climb even higher! Just this incredible achievement alone sends a huge message to Albany that you, the Landowners and Natural Gas Supporters, have had enough of your rights and opportunities being denied for the sake of political games. That alone is just as signifcant as the lawsuit itself!

And the credit belongs completely with you. The thanks are completely owed to you. YOU DID IT FASTER AND HIGHER THAN I EVER EXPECTED!   Thank you for your generous donations! They are greatly appreciated! But more important, thank you for showing me a unity and enthusiasm that those aligned against us will never be able to dismiss or defeat. That goes beyond that ability of words to describe.   Even though we reached our goal I still encourage anyone who has not yet controbuted to do so. The more we raise the more diligent our suit can be and the stronger our message of unity in support of our cause.  

Please spread the word to all supporters. Donations can be made payable to “ Landowner Defense Fund” and mailed to:

PO Box 2839 
Binghamton, NY 13902
Attention: Landowner Defense Fund

Donations can also be made by credit card by visiting the link below and clicking on the Landowner Defense Fund PayPal Link in the upper left hand corner.

JLCNY’s Landowner Defense Lawsuit Web Page

The JLCNY is a 501(c)(6) non profit corporation. Contributions or gifts to the Landowner Defense Fund through the JLCNY are not tax deductible as charitable contributions.

Thank you for your continued support. It is greatly appreciated!

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons,
President Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

PA Bill | Show Your Support

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners, and Natural Gas Supporters,

As landowners in New York, we're generally envious of our neighbors to the south who are enjoying the benefits of Natural Gas production. We're working hard to restore our basic rights and enjoy the simple benefits that are being withheld from us so its easy for us to think that PA landowners are all set.   However, as the attached file makes clear, there are issues to resolve in PA! One important issue is that some less scrupulous gas companies are shorting landowners' royalty payments or withholding them completely! This is especially hurtful to working families and senior citizens. As a result PA landowners are starting to fight back in hopes of being paid fairly for the gas produced from under their land.  

To show support for a PA bill seeking to protect landowners and hopefully put a stop to such practices PA landowners will have rally Friday, February 14, 2014, at  11:00 AM, on the Bradford County Courthouse steps in Towanda PA. I won't repeat the specifics of these matters, preferring instead to refer you to the attached file that spells out all the details very clearly.   What I will add is that ALL landowners, PA and NY need to stick together and work together. What befalls one of us will eventually befall the rest us. So we need to stand united from the start and show our united resolve. Therefore I'm asking any and all supporters to attend the rally.

When: Friday, February 14, 2014, 11:00AM (but suggest showing up several minutes early)
Where: Bradford County Courthouse steps, Towanda, PA   This is a great event to show our solidarity and support for safe and  RESPONSIBLE Natural Gas development.

Please pass the word along.   Please plan to attend and be sure say hello if you see me to let me know you made it.  

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons,
President Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Lawsuit Update | One Week Away

As I told you last week – the JLCNY plans to file its lawsuit on February 14, 2014! That's only ONE week away!! Let me be perfectly clear that this is not some publicity stunt, scheme to make money for lawyers doing nothing, or gas industry charade. Like many of you I am a honorable landowner proud to be supporting Natural Gas development. I am working very hard as an unpaid volunteer in the JLCNY to help bring the benefits of NG development to our homes, communities, and state for the simple reason it is the best and most sensible path for NY to follow.

Unlike some of our more vocal anti gas opposition leaders, I'm not playing games or calling others names to cover up a defunct ideology and factually bankrupt scheme to mislead people into thinking their land isn't worth leasing.   Its really just this simple...if our demand is not met, the JLCNY will take its Article 78 Petition to compel the State to complete the SGEIS and commence the action on February 14, 2014. We will make it returnable before the Court with the Norse Petition on  March 7, 2014.

That is the JLCNY protecting and advocating your rights and interests!   And that is only the start of today's good news. Remember that $18,000 I told you we needed to raise by February 14? As I write this your generous donations have reached an amazing $12,208.37! I am nearly overwhelmed by the support this shows for our strategy and our cause!  

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far!

Every donation big and small propels us towards our goal. I can only hope that the momentum builds as those who have not yet donated do so in order to allow us to surpass $18,000 and  sue NYS and Governor Cuomo .

Please spread the word to all supporters. Donations can be made payable to “ Landowner Defense Fund” and mailed to:

PO Box 2839 
Binghamton, NY 13902
Attention: Landowner Defense Fund

Donations can also be made by credit card by visiting the link below and clicking on the Landowner Defense Fund PayPal Link in the upper left hand corner.

JLCNY’s Landowner Defense Lawsuit Web Page

The JLCNY is a 501(c)(6) non profit corporation. Contributions or gifts to the Landowner Defense Fund through the JLCNY are not tax deductible as charitable contributions.

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Another Reason | A Real Solution

Dear Friends and Natural Gas Supporters,

If there was ever any doubt that landowners need to sue Governor Cuomo and New York State to develop Natural Gas in NY, DEC Commissioner Martens's recent statements that no permits will be issued until at least well into 2015 make it perfectly clear that NOW IS THE TIME TO SUE!   Therefore, have sent a "Demand Letter" to Commissioner Martens on Friday January 31, 2014. We've also issued a "MSLF JLCNY Demand SGEIS" press release.  

Please read them to understand just how serious and immediate our lawsuit is.

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons,
President Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Moratoriums Defeated | Binghamton & Ithaca

Binghamton appeal withdrawn: Last year Mayor Matt Ryan of Binghamton instituted a moratorium with the legal aid of Ithaca-based, husband and wife team of David and Helen Slottje. Challenged in court by landowner groups and businesses, Binghamton/Slottje team lost. The judge found that no urgent crisis existed, therefore it was not deemed necessary to apply the police powers of the municipality in instituting a moratorium. Binghamton/the Slottjes appealed. However, a new mayor took office, noted the State already had a moratorium, saw no necessity for a Binghamton moratorium. He declined to pursue the case. Last week the Slottjes withdrew the appeal. The lower court’s ruling is now the law.

Sidney moratorium overturned: Our own Inge Graff-Kielik challenged the Sidney Town Board in their disregard of Town Law 265 which sets conditions for a super-majority Town Board vote when towns institute zoning changes. In Sidney’s case the Town Board‘s 3 to 2 vote for a moratorium was disapproved by the Delaware County Planning Board (General Municipal Law 239-m) and a protest petition from owners of more than 20% of the Town‘s land had been presented to the Town Board in accordance with Town Law 265.

Binghamton/Conklin Gas Coalition

Dan Fitzsimmons (Chairman) - 775-5821

Fracking In Illinois | AP Wire

Original Article

CHICAGO (AP) -- After years of clashing over the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," the oil industry and environmentalists have achieved something extraordinary in Illinois: They sat down together to draft regulations both sides could live with.
If approved by lawmakers, participants say, the rules would be the nation's strictest. The Illinois model might also offer a template to other states seeking to carve out a middle ground between energy companies that would like free rein and environmental groups that want to ban the practice entirely.

"The fact that Illinois got there," was significant, said Brian Petty, executive vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs at the International Association of Drilling Contractors. "Anytime you can bring the lion and lamb to the table, it's a good thing. But it's so highly politicized in lot of places" that compromise could be difficult.
Fracking uses a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to crack and hold open thick rock formations, releasing trapped oil and gas. Combined with horizontal drilling, it allows access to formerly out-of-reach deposits and has allowed drillers to move closer to populated areas.
The industry insists the method is safe and would create thousands of jobs — possibly 40,000 in the poorest area of Illinois, according to one study. Opponents say it causes water and air pollution and permanently depletes freshwater resources.

In New York, where a fracking moratorium is in effect until a health study is completed, one activist said Illinois environmentalists caved in when they should have pushed harder to block fracking.
"I was just appalled at this collaboration ... to create these regulations based on the false premise that fracking is inevitable," said Sandra Steingraber, an Illinois native and founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking, a group whose champions include actor Mark Ruffalo and singer Natalie Merchant. "It was not their job to help pave the way for fracking to move into Illinois. It was to protect the environment."
But Michigan's largest environmental coalition might be willing to take a cue from Illinois if lawmakers decide that fracking should be part of Michigan's energy mix.

"We would love to see that kind of bipartisan cooperation," said Hugh McDiarmid, spokesman for the Michigan Environmental Council. The Illinois bill "has a lot of good ideas and a lot of things ... that mirror what we're trying to achieve in Michigan" because stopping or banning fracking would be unrealistic.

That's exactly what motivated some Illinois environmental groups to sit down with industry, lawmakers, regulators and the attorney general's office.

In Illinois, it came down to "do we accept the invitation to go to the table or walk away and allow industry to write the rules?" said Allen Grosboll, co-legislative director at the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center. "For us to say we were not going to participate and drive the hardest deal we could to protect environment would have been totally irresponsible."

The Natural Resources Defense Council supported a failed attempt at a fracking moratorium last year. So with lawmakers clearly ready to allow fracking in southern Illinois, the NRDC wanted to ensure there were significant safeguards, including making drillers liable for water pollution, requiring them to disclose the chemicals used and enabling residents to sue for damages.

"One of the positive things here has been the table to which a wide range of interests have come ... to address the risks in an adult way," said Henry Henderson, director of the NRDC's Midwest office. "We have gotten over the frustrating chasm of 'Are you for the environment or for the economy?' That is an empty staring contest."

Negotiations took place over four or five months, primarily at the Statehouse in meetings led by state Rep. John Bradley, a Democrat who lives in the area where fracking would occur, participants said.
Bradley whittled negotiators down to a core group — four from industry, four from environmental groups, plus representatives from the attorney general's and governor's offices, regulatory agencies and lawmakers, said Mark Denzler, vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association.

That group was pared even further for the toughest negotiations, which included discussions with outside technical experts on complicated issues, said Ann Alexander, an NRDC senior attorney.

"I won't say there weren't times that voices got raised a little bit, but ... it's a very good model of cooperation," Alexander said. "It beats the (typical) model of having drafts furtively circulating ... or emerging at the last minute when nobody has had a chance to read them."
The deal was done by late February. It has yet to be considered by a legislative committee, which would have to endorse the proposal before sending it to the full House.

With oil companies leasing millions of acres around the country in a rush to extract oil and gas reserves, more states will face similar challenges.
Although Illinois' proposed regulations might not work for every state, the unusual model of cooperation might, depending on the relationship between industry and environmentalists, Denzler said. Even now, though, Illinois' agreement is "very precarious," and his group has warned that any attempts to change it before it comes for a vote "could tip it one way or another."

More than 170 bills were introduced in 29 states last year to regulate oil and gas drilling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only 14 became law. Many were simply to define whether local, state or federal government could regulate fracking. The bills don't include regulations drafted by state regulatory agencies, rather than lawmakers.

California state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson said Illinois was able to negotiate many of the same protections she wants in her state, where energy companies are eying a shale formation near Santa Barbara that may have four times more oil than North Dakota. She said regulations proposed by the governor's office were inadequate.
"It would be wonderful, frankly, if we could get everybody to sit down," said Jackson, who introduced a bill to regulate fracking wastewater. "In California, there is the perception the companies are stonewalling and do not want to be subject to any oversight. I think if they are willing to sit down and talk, that would certainly be best way to do it."

Environmentalists and industry have worked together to control pollution in the past, including on individual fracking issues in some states, though none was as comprehensive as the Illinois bill. But many environmental groups would rather forbid fracking completely.
"You can't regulate fracking to be cleaner," said Dan Jacobson, legislative director of Environment California. "We're at such a tipping point with climate now."

Even in Illinois, some environmental groups don't support the bill and are mobilizing to seek an outright ban. On Saturday, fracking opponents interrupted Bradley while he spoke at a conference in southern Illinois. They plan another protest Monday, at a conference of county officials.
Bringing both sides together "is something that should absolutely happen," said Steve Everly, spokesman for Energy in Depth, the educational arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. But he said environmental groups that participate "have to continue to support" the regulations afterward.

"If you put together the right formula, you can move forward," he said.
It is possible that there will be more collaboration to establish better safeguards for air, water and climate, said Mike Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. "But as we learn more about the true impacts of gas, and more and more communities are questioning whether we need it at all ... we'll definitely see more conflicts."

JLC Press Release | Letter To Court

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners and Natural Gas Supporters,

Late Friday 02-15-13 the JLCNY issued the attached press release.  The press release refers to a letter signed by 50 town supervisors, councilmen, planning board members, highway superintendents, assessors and tax collectors from the southern tier who disagree with the Association of Towns' position on oil and gas drilling bans. A copy of the letter is also attached.

This release illustrates how important it is for the media, the public, and our elected and appointed officials to know that applying home rule to Natural Gas development is not popular, prudent, or acceptable.

We expect this will correct the misconceptions created by the Association of Towns previous filings related to the Dryden and Middlefield cases now on appeal. Please share it with your friends, family members, and acquaintances who support safe and responsible Natural Gas development in New York State.

To futher advocate for the support of developing NY's Natural Gas Reserves, please continue to call Governor Cuomo at the following two numbers.

518-474-8390 AND 212-681-4580  
Simply tell him that "I support developing New York's Natural Gas and want no more delays!"

Call each number as many times per day as you possibly can to show our numbers and resolve!

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Shah Letter | SGEIS Survey

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners and Natural Gas Supporters,

Attached are statements from DEC Commissioner Martens and Department of Health Commissioner Shah. Commissioner Shah says he still needs a few weeks to complete the health review. DEC says if DOH finds that the SGEIS adequately addresses health concerns, the SGEIS can be adopted and permits issued 10 days later.

We are extremely disappointed that after 4 1/2 years, the state failed to meet another deadline. The JLCNY will be monitoring these issues on a daily basis and will continue to evaluate our plans to commence a lawsuit against the state. 

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

SGEIS Survey

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners, and Natural Gas Supporters,

Next week will be a crucial week for all of us who desire to see safe and responsible Natural Gas development proceed in New York State. We hope that the SGEIS will be out on Wednesday leading to completion of related regulations on February 27. Albany’s lack of firm leadership has needlessly delayed progress on this issue. Accordingly, the JLCNY is laying the ground work for a lawsuit against New York State for a de facto taking in case the Governor decides to delay the release yet again.

We sincerely hope this will not be necessary as the SGEIS and regulations are done and ready to be released. It is obvious that decisions to delay release are being made for purely political reasons. This must be stopped.

It will be very important for each and every one of us to remain alert for further updates during this crucial period. As always your attention to and support for this issue will help us prevail.

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Survey | Please Participate

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners, and Natural Gas Supporters,

Broome County has issued the survey linked to here...

I'm asking all natural gas supporters to please respond to it and to share it with other supporters so they can respond to it as well. Our leaders need to hear from us that NG development is important to us and our communities. Responding to this survey will allow us to be involved in the future plans for Broome County. Please partake ASAP!

Warmest Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

JLC Seeks Plaintiff

JLCNY Seeks Plaintiff Candidates for its Lawsuit Against NYS

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners and Natural Gas Supporters,

On February 8, 2013, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York announced that it has been laying the ground work for a lawsuit against New York State for a taking of our property rights under the United States and New York Constitutions. The JLCNY is now seeking landowner candidates to serve as plaintiffs in the action.

The JLCNY believes that New York has no intention of ever completing the SGEIS or the regulations for high volume hydraulic fracturing. After 4 ½ years, today marks another deadline missed by NY - the date to complete the HVHF regulations. 

NY is clearly acting in bad faith.  Ohio completed its HVHF regulations in 8 months.  This week Illinois introduced House Bill 2615 — the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act—after a 14-month bi-partisan effort that involved the Attorney General’s Office, environmental groups (NRDC and the Sierra Club), industry leaders and state legislators. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn praised the bill saying it will help his state’s economy. Ironically, the “New Albany” Shale is Illinois’ target formation but it’s business as usual in Albany, NY where our leaders continue to make a mockery of the regulatory process.

President Obama said in his state of the Union address: “After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.”

Last week New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: "It is up to the governor, but I personally have said we should be fracking, not in the watershed, but we should be fracking. … About 13,000 people get killed every year by the pollutants from coal-fired plants. … [Also, as] Boone alluded to, getting oil from outside this country is expensive and it transfers our wealth to people who are trying to destroy our lives. … Of all the things we can do, natural gas isn't perfect, but it certainly looks like it can make this country energy-independent and reduce dramatically the pollutants going into the air," Bloomberg said.

On February 12, 2013, DOH Commissioner Shah perpetuated the state’s bad faith conduct by suggesting that he would review two health studies that had not yet been started or funded. News of DOH’s inability to complete its work on the latest health review came even though it was revealed that its advisory panel completed its work months earlier and that last year, DOH conducted a health review and found that there are no health impacts from HVHF.

While our nation’s leaders bring us closer than ever to achieving energy independence, cleaner air and economic prosperity, NY threatens to impede our progress and deny the constitutionally guaranteed rights of NY landowners. 

The lawsuit against the state will focus on claims where the failure to grant HVHF permits has deprived landowners of all economically viable uses of their real property or interfered with reasonable investment-backed expectations. While we would like to include a large number of plaintiffs in the action, the economic reality is that numerous plaintiffs would make the action too costly to prosecute.  Mineral appraisals will be required for each property in the action. Accordingly, we plan to proceed with a limited number of plaintiffs to give ourselves the best opportunity to establish legal precedent in NY. 

We are seeking one plaintiff for each of the following categories:

  1. Sub-surface Mineral Owners
    1. Property owners who purchased the sub-surface oil, gas and other minerals prior to July 23, 2008, the date Governor Patterson announced a review process to update the Generic Environmental Impact Statement applicable to HVHF. 
    2. The property should be in the regions where the Marcellus or Utica Shales are the primary target with few prospects for other formations such as the Herkimer or Trenton Black River.
    3. The property must be located in the Susquehanna River Basin.
    4. Sub-surface mineral owners in Broome County are likely candidates.
  2. Lessor Plaintiffs
    1. Landowners under a lease with an oil and gas company where the company has applied for a Marcellus or Utica drilling permit or a permit has been withdrawn because of New York’s delay in completing the SGEIS.
    2. The property should be in the regions where the Marcellus or Utica Shales are the primary target with few prospects for other formations such as the Herkimer or Trenton Black River.
    3. The property must be located in the Susquehanna River Basin.
  3. Sub-surface Mineral Owners with Prior Wells
    1. Landowners who own the sub-surface oil, gas and other minerals and who have had a prior oil and gas well drilled on their property, fully depleting formations such as the Herkimer, Oneida or Trenton Black River, leaving only the Marcellus and Utica as viable formations.  Landowners with prior wells in Chenango County are potential candidates. 
  4. Fee Simple Owners (surface and sub-surface)
    1. Fee simple owners of vacant undeveloped land, owning both the surface and sub-surface rights and purchased for oil and gas investment purposes prior to July 23, 2008.
    2. The property should be located in a core Marcellus or Utica region.
    3. We are looking for a property having little or no economic value in the surface.  These could be properties where building or farming are impractical or where there are surface restrictions which limit surface uses, but still allow for the development of sub-surface oil and gas.
    4. Properties with deed restrictions prohibiting commercial development do not qualify.

Candidates who fit within one of the above categories should contact:

Scott R. Kurkoski, Esq.
450 Plaza Drive, Vestal, NY 13850

The JLCNY is exploring various options to fund the litigation against the state. Please do not send donations for the litigation until the JLCNY sends a specific litigation funding request. Other donations to the JLCNY are welcome. 

Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.

Pack The Theatre!

NY Landowners Call for End of Natural Gas Moratorium

The Joint Landowners Coalition of NY (JLCNY) today announced that it will host Phelim McAleer at a screening of his documentary film, FrackNation, at the Regal Theater in Binghamton, NY on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 2pm. A second screening is planned for Monday, February 11, 2013 at 7pm at the Swyer Theater in Albany.

 “This documentary unearths shocking revelations that are a must see by NY officials who were misguided by the film Gasland, along with its cottage industry of anti-energy activists,” said Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the JLCNY. “Countless NY citizens have been hurt by this four-and-a-half year delay. It’s time for the facts to be seen, for the misinformation to be corrected, and for sound decisions based on science, not hysteria to guide our state government.”

FrackNation follows journalist Phelim McAleer across America as he faces threats, malicious 911 calls and bogus lawsuits for just trying to question green extremists for the truth about fracking. McAleer uncovers fracking facts suppressed by environmental activists, and he talks with New Yorkers, who have been hurt the most by a four-and-a-half-year de-facto moratorium on natural gas development.

“FrackNation is pro-truth and pro-investigative journalism. It reveals the exaggerations and frauds that are at the heart of the anti-fracking movement and the length activists will go to reach their goal of banning fracking,” said Phelim McAleer, co-director.

Fracking is a way of extracting oil and gas from deep in the earth. It has led to a fossil fuel boom in many states across the U.S. and has become the number one target of the environmental movement. In addition to being attacked in the HBO documentary Gasland, it was also demonized by Matt Damon's Hollywood movie Promised Land.

The New York Times, which has been skeptical of fracking, reviewed FrackNation and said it is "meticulously researched...provocative."

FrackNation was funded by 3,305 backers – many of whom are from the Southern tier of NY – through crowd-funding website Kickstarter.

While admission to the screening is free, the JLCNY encourages donations to make these screenings possible. Please visit: to register and donate through Paypal or send a check to: JLCNY P.O. Box 2839 Binghamton, NY 13902

Please click on this link: or visit to register. It's free but we'd really appreciate a donation to cover our event expenses and promotion efforts.

The Home Stretch | Stay Strong

Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners and Natural Gas Supporters,

If ever we were in the homestretch for bringing natural gas development to NY – this is it.  Governor Cuomo is going to decide one way or another by the end of February – and must file that decision by February 13, 2013.  That means we have about two weeks left – after 4 1/2 years of this struggle.

Between now and then we are going to organize four key opportunities and we need your help: 

  • We’ll hold  pro gas movie screenings of FrackNation in Albany and Binghamton – details soon
  • Many of you gave generously to help make this movie we need a donation from all of you to help pay for and attend screenings and purchase DVDs to distribute to legislators
  • We will rally with NY Labor Unions on February 6 in Binghamton – details soon
  • We will call on Albany to hear us alongside Farm Bureaus, Labor, Business groups and industry in Albany on February 12

 We CANNOT do any of this without your financial support.  We have accomplished a tremendous amount over the years without rich financial backers and without Hollywood’s weight behind us – despite foundations that popped up to bring us down. 

But we need your financial support now – for the homestretch.  By the way – even if we are victorious and the SGEIS is filed and permits can move ahead – our struggle is not over.  But let’s hope we get that far.

We need you to give generously ASAP to make sure our voice is heard in Albany and other events, to print signs, hold phone campaigns, to access experts – in short, to make sure our voice is HEARD.   

We’ve come a long way – and we can’t give up now. 

We are the landowners of upstate New York.  We have rights and we demand those rights be heard.  We are determined to continue the fight until they are.  Can you help us today, and commit to sending what you can to ensure we can fight for our rights, and win this struggle? 

Thank you. 

Most Sincerely,

Dan Fitzsimmons, President, JLCNY 

PS:  Click here to give NOW:
Then go the Donate button on the left had side of the page or mail a donation the the address listed.  Any amount helps – if you can send $500 or $200 please do it. If you can send $100, $50, $25, it all helps.  No amount is too small.  We appreciate it more than you know!

You can also see a video of your Lawyer, Scott Kurkoski, speaking at the NYS Assembly Hearing January 10, 2013 . We are lucky to have him on our side.

Thanks for all of your help!

Cuomo's Support | "Pumped" Again.

The JLCNY recently learned that anti-gas protestors have been inflating the number of responses they send to Governor Cuomo by telling each protestor to send the same letter many times over and over for many days, again and again. It makes me mad that they would try to influence the Governor in such a way. And I'll bet it makes you mad also knowing that this is what they're doing to prevent you and our communities from enjoying the benefits of safe, responsible natural gas development.

But rather than let our anger get the best of us I'd like to suggest a way that we can get even!

The JLCNY has created a set of two new letters for landowners to send to Governor Cuomo to express our support for safe and responsible natural gas development in New York and are combining it with our popular "barn" letter. Please down load, print, sign and mail at least one different letter each day and keep doing that day after day until February 13th.