People with gas leases or dreams of having them say - no one can tell them what they can or can’t do with their land. And no one would be; if fracking fluid, methane and waste water contaminated with toxic and radioactive chemicals couldn’t flow in all directions through or on the ground, without regard for property lines. People without gas leases could have also said - no one could tell them what they can or can’t do with their land either. That is until 2005 when NYS passed a law requiring compulsory integration. That law told people without, and even those who absolutely didn’t want, gas leases; they had to allow fracking under their property if a gas company wanted do it. The law allows gas companies to define “a space”, and then if 60% of the land within that space is leased; the adjoining 40% of the land can be used for fracking. Yes, the compulsory integrated landowner is paid for whatever gas the company says they extract, albeit at a highly discounted rate; but without so much as penny in leasing payment, otherwise it might be called stealing.
Somehow for NYS to pass a law which singularly applies and greatly enriches Big Gas & Oil; forcing landowners to allow a process they feel is dangerous, either for practical or moral reasons; isn’t considered a taking or even a coercion of landowner rights. Not coincidently 2005 was a big year for other special laws that apply specifically to and greatly benefit Big Gas & Oil.
In 2005 after Vice President (and former Halliburton CEO) Dick Cheney held meetings with the heads of major petrochemical conglomerates, the content of which are still being kept secret; the Republican controlled Congress passed changes to both the Clean Air and Safe Drinking Water Acts, which exempted only the petrochemical industry from oversight by the EPA regarding the disposal of waste products. This legislation is commonly known as the “Halliburton Loophole” and is the only reason high volume slick-water hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, was allowed to go forward in the Marcellus Shale Play. If the EPA had been allowed to keep control over toxic waste disposal; fracking would have been a non-starter. That’s why the Halliburton Loophole had to be created. And then, not by coincidence; NYS’s compulsory integration law was also enacted.
After forty years of the EPA being able to protect Americans from all industries contaminating our air and water; the dirtiest of all industries was granted an exemption from the agency’s oversight. After having the right since the America Revolution to refuse forced industrial use of our property; that right was taken away from NYS citizens. All done so that petrochemical multinationals could increase their profits; with less cost and liability.
These unjust abuses of legislative power resulting in bad laws, bad public policy and danger to the health, safety and quality of life of the citizens of NYS, need to be rescinded!