Catskill Landowners' Association opposes any gas drilling ban

Margaretville — The Catskill Landowners’ Associa-tion (CLA), a group of landowners dedicated to the protection of landowners’ rights, announced last week that it is opposed to any suggested regulation imposing a broad-scale, general ban on natural gas drilling on private property within the Catskill Region, unless landowners receive just compensation for the loss of this property right.
“The CLA views natural gas exploration and development as a right vested in land ownership, not something that can be legislated away on a whim.”
CLA President Robert Bishop said. “We do support appropriate regulation of this activity in order to protect our water systems and the scenic beauty of the Catskill Region as long as landowners are justly compensated.”
As stated in a position paper, The CLA views natural gas exploration and development as a right vested in land ownership.
“We support appropriate regulation of this activity in order to protect our water systems and the scenic beauty of the Catskill region. The new regulatory framework as proposed in the Draft Supplemental Generic Envir-onmental Impact Statement provides New York State with greater ability to protect our natural resources during the implementation of the new drilling processes required to extract our deep deposits of natural gas,” the paper stated.
To address the issue of financial resources, The CLA remains concerned that New York State has insufficient financial resources to adequately supervise extensive gas drilling and to ensure that the environment is protected.
The CLA recommends a fee structure for permitting gas exploration, should it be developed, to ensure that the costs of adequate regulatory oversight are funded by the companies seeking permits. Those funds generated from drilling permit fees should be restricted to the uses required for regulatory oversight of natural gas exploration and extraction.