Letter: Oil and gas industry is highly regulated in state - The Buffalo News

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Letter: Oil and gas industry is highly regulated in state

Oil and gas industry is highly regulated in state

In his June 24 Another Voice, “Oil industry is already seeking exemptions from state rules,” Ronald Fraser continues to perpetuate myths and untruths associated with the oil and gas industry that has operated here since the 1860s.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation has done an exemplary job in monitoring and enforcing the regulations and laws of our state, particularly the New York State Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law. We’ve never had the problems other states have experienced.

The fact is that the oil and gas industry is highly regulated under numerous state and federal laws. The so-called Halliburton loophole is an Internet myth. The federal Safe Drinking Water Act was always intended to regulate disposal of wastes below groundwater, not oil and gas production wells that capture resources from the ground.

Fraser talks about “thousands of private settlements and non-disclosure agreements,” but fails to say that all enforcement information, including inspection reports, is available to the public in New York.

With regard to home rule, legislation in 1981 clarified the split of authority between state and local governments. The state’s mandate for spacing wells and protecting the correlative rights of landowners based on geology does not respect political boundaries. Every mineral rights owner has the right to recover minerals from beneath his property as a property right.

Monitoring and inspection are the domain of the DEC. Let’s leave those regulatory decisions to the professionals.

Karen Moreau

Executive Director

New York State Petroleum Council

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