Some informed viewpoints:
“Thinking like a lawyer, my first thought was that Chesapeake’s lawyers said, “avoid drilling in the NYC watershed” because NYC has the legal resources to litigate when any accident happens in the watershed. Additionally lawsuits usually center on the amount of damages, so an accident in the NYC watershed could generate an awful lot of monetary damages to a corporation. That will not be the case outside the NYC watershed. First individual landowners and small communities do not have the legal resources like the NYC law department. Second, even if successful, the upstate plaintiff would not get the massive damages that NYC would get and so Chesapeake’s bottom line would not be threatened.” – Mary Jo Long, Esq
“There’s a method to their madness. This is designed to make people in NYC complacent, which will help industry in both the short-term and long-term. Short-term effect: On November 10, there’s a hearing in NYC on the dSGEIS. If NYC is no longer worried, the turnout will be low. Long-term effect: Upstate NY needs NYC to bring its political clout to bear in order to achieve a statewide ban. If citizens in NYC start to relax, it will cost the statewide movement a good deal of energy. And of course, there’s nothing binding about this – they can change their mind anytime. How do you know when a gas corporation rep is lying? When you see his lips moving.”
“This is mainly a PR stunt on the part of Chesapeake. They are trying to dissipate opposition by making public statements, but the facts point to a very different scenario:
1. There are at least 16 other companies ready to acquire leases and drill in the Catskill / Delaware watersheds, which provide water to NYC. Most of these companies currently have leases in Otsego County and will cross the border as soon as there is a green light from the DEC
2. Public statements on the part of Chesapeake do not cancel leases, or the ability to acquire future leases. As the people from Colorado and Wyoming say about the gas drillers, ‘If they are moving their lips, they are lying.’
3. Only the NYS DEC, and the NYS legislature and governor, can create a ban on gas drilling within the Catskill / Delaware watersheds. Once they do that, they will be sued.
Aubrey K. McClendon, the CEO, is just telling you what you want to hear so that you will lower your opposition during this critical period of public review.”