The PressConnects.com article quoted here inadvertently reveals one way the extraction and devastation industry manufactures astroturf: “New York landowners will receive $500 per acre when the lease is signed, and the other $5,000 per acre when the moratorium is lifted.”
Fortuna Energy agrees to pay $165 million for gas rights; 600 members of coalition to receive $5,500 per acre, plus royalties
By George Basler
September 12, 2009
“CHOCONUT, Pa. — A Horseheads-based company is willing to pay a collective $165 million for the rights to drill for natural gas in about 30,000 acres of the Marcellus Shale.
“Fortuna Energy Inc. has closed a deal with … a coalition of about 600 property owners, to lease all of the group’s acreage in Susquehanna and Bradford counties in Pennsylvania, as well as its land in Broome County, officials with the coalition said Saturday.
“Under the agreement, Fortuna Energy will pay all of the property owners in the coalition $5,500 an acre for a five-year lease on their property, with a company option to extend the lease for another three years. The company will also pay 20 percent royalties for producing wells.
“Under the agreement, Pennsylvania landowners will receive the $5,500 per acre within 40 to 90 days of signing the lease agreement, Fortuna officials said.
“The deal will be structured differently for coalition landowners in New York, who are clustered in the towns of Binghamton and Vestal. That’s because New York currently has a moratorium on drilling [said a person who helped negotiate the lease]… New York landowners will receive $500 per acre when the lease is signed, and the other $5,000 per acre when the moratorium is lifted. The company will not be able to do any work on their land until New York begins issuing permits to drill.”
At least two sentences in the last paragraph are untrue. There is not currently a moratorium on gas drilling in NYS, or even on horizontally-drilled, high-volume hydraulically-fractured wells in tight shales (HD/HVHF), the new extraction technique currently under review by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (or as we like to say, Department of Energy Corporations). At any time, companies could be drilling and completing such wells, under one condition: they would have to complete a site-specific Environmental Impact Statement EIS at their own expense for each well. Sounds reasonable enough, even like a good idea, doesn’t it, considering the mammoth scale and environmental impact of an HD/HVHF well? Instead, these companies prefer to pretend that they can’t drill until the DEC completes a statewide Generic EIS for them. That’s right: the gas drilling industry doesn’t want to pay its own way for each well it drills. Instead, it wants you, the New York State taxpayer, to pay for the Generic (that is, one size fits all) EIS that will open the way for it to exploit our resources – and us. The gas drilling industry is a bully.
Binghamton and Vestal landowners, show some New York smarts – don’t be the blind led by the blind – and New York moxie. New Yorkers know better than to give in to bullies.
The way to get maximum protection through any gas lease is by not signing it. Don’t sign. You’ll be glad you didn’t.
Complete PressConnects story here