Newsletter from Joint Landowners Coalition of New York

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An update on the effort in New York State to get shale drilling legalized--issued by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY). This June 2013 newsletter provides a quick legislative update, …

An update on the effort in New York State to get shale drilling legalized--issued by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY). This June 2013 newsletter provides a quick legislative update, a review of a recent seminar held in Albany, FrackNation screening update, and most importantly, an update on the lawsuit being undertaken by the JLCNY to force New York to compensate landowners if they will not allow drilling--a legal concept called "takings".

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  • 1. June 25, 2013 Dear Friends, Coalition Leaders, Landowners and Natural Gas Supporters, The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York has been extremely active over the past several months fighting to protect the rights of New York landowners. The following is a summary of some of our ongoing efforts including an update on the lawsuit against the State. New York State Legislature The 2013 legislative session ended on Friday June 21, 2013. 101 anti-gas bills were proposed including a two-year moratorium on all oil and gas development in New York. The session ended with not one anti-gas bill being passed. We were able to counter a massive effort by our opposition who would like to see NY closed for business forever. Thank you to our political consultant, our political action committee and to our many members and supporters for their hard work. Albany Seminar - Top Myths of Natural Gas Development: Debunked Governor Cuomo suggested in March that groups in favor of natural gas development should do more educational work to allay the fears of the general public. As you know, educating the public is what the JLCNY and our member coalitions have been doing for over 5 years. As a direct response to Governor Cuomo, the JLCNY held an educational program on May 30, 2013 in the Legislative Office Building in Albany –“Top Myths of Natural Gas Development: Debunked.” Our speakers were Mark Boling, President of V+ Development Solutions, a division of Southwest Energy Company, Professor Don Siegel, Hydrologist from Syracuse University, Rex Catlin, CEO of Endless Mountain Health Systems in Montrose, Pennsylvania and Doug McKlinko, Bradford County Commissioner of Bradford County, Pennsylvania. The program was attended by legislators, policy makers, staff members and leaders from business, agricultural and
  • 2. labor organizations. The program was moderated by Tom Wilber to ensure that the toughest and most important questions about natural gas development were addressed by the panel of experts. The program received widespread media exposure and had a positive impact on everyone who attended. Soon after the seminar we began to see what happens when truth and facts replace misinformation and fear. The seminar contributed to keeping the moratorium bills off the Senate floor. FrackNation We have been very pleased with the release of FrackNation, a feature documentary directed by Phelim McAleer, his wife Ann McElhinney, and Magdalena Segieda. FrackNation exposes the misinformation spread by Josh Fox and Gasland and tells the truth about what natural gas development will do for NY and our nation. The New York Post said: “If you get an Oscar nomination for fearmongering based on rumors and lies, what do you get for debunking the Oscar nominee? Nothing, probably, but Phelim McAleer, who in “FrackNation” gleefully shreds assertions made in the anti-fracking documentary “Gasland,” should be content to have struck a blow for truth.” http://www.nypost.com/f/print/entertainment/movies/really_frackin_good_doc_QDliZ CxTTA0dnSPfACcL3I#axzz2XF6O5FgP The JLCNY has been sponsoring FrackNation screenings since the movie premiered. Our first screenings were in February at the Regal Theater in Binghamton and the Swyer Theater in Albany’s Empire Plaza. We have been sponsoring additional viewings to coincide with the release of Gasland II. They have been billed as the showdown of the century between Phelim McAleer and Josh Fox.
  • 3. Movie theaters in Vestal, Callicoon and Brooktondale in Tompkins County have been filled with people who want to know the truth about natural gas development. All of our FrackNation events included special appearances by Phelim McAleer. Thank you to all who attended. Lawsuit Against New York State On February 8, 2013, the NYS Health Department Commissioner said he would be finished with his health review in a “few weeks”. That was over 4 months ago! We are about to hit the 5 year mark on New York’s moratorium. The JLCNY believes that we have no option but to commence proceedings against our State to protect the rights of landowners, preserve the economic benefits to all New Yorkers, have an immediate impact on climate change and allow our nation to come closer to achieving energy independence. We are pleased to report that we have collected sufficient funds allowing us to retain Robinson & Cole LLP. They will work with JLCNY attorneys to prepare the complaint against the state. The Robinson & Cole team will be led by Dwight Merriam and Joseph Clasen. Mr. Merriam has published over 200 articles and eight books, including The Takings Issue, The Complete Guide to Zoning, and Eminent Domain Use and Abuse: Kelo in Context. Mr. Clasen represented Gyrodyne in its condemnation litigation against New York State. In July 2012, Gyrodyne received $167,530,657.00 for its condemnation award against New York. See www.gyrodyne.com Their biographies are available at: http://www.rc.com/bio.cfm?eid=736 and http://www.rc.com/Bio.cfm?eID=712 In addition to our takings claims and claims that the delay in issuing permits constitutes an unconstitutional moratorium on HVHF, we have also been considering a “mandamus” action. This would be an action under Article 78 to compel NYS to complete the SGEIS. We are encouraged by the United States Supreme Court’s pro property rights takings decision just handed down today! In KOONTZ v. ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT, http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-1447_6j37.pdf, the Court found in favor of the landowner out of concern for “the risk that the government may use its substantial power and discretion in land-use permitting to pursue governmental ends that lack an essential nexus and rough proportionality to the effects of the proposed new use of the specific property at issue, thereby diminishing without justification the value of the property.”
  • 4. The initial draft of the complaint has been prepared by our attorneys and will soon be reviewed by our full legal team. We have several plaintiff candidates who would be appropriate for the action. We will begin contacting plaintiff candidates when we get closer to our funding goals. Contributions continue to be collected but additional funds will be needed before we can commence the litigation. Landowner coalition leaders have committed to increasing their fund raising efforts but assistance from all of our supporters will be crucial to this effort. Please consider sending any donation you can afford. I cannot emphasize enough what is at stake for us all. Our mineral rights will be lost if we cannot win this struggle! Checks can be made payable to "Landowner Defense Fund" and mailed to: JLCNY PO Box 2839 Binghamton, NY 13902 Attention: Landowner Defense Fund Donations can also be made by credit card by visiting the JLCNY’s website and clicking on the Landowner Defense Fund PayPal Link at www.jlcny.org The JLCNY is a 501(c)(6) non profit corporation. Contributions or gifts to the Landowner Defense Fund through the JLCNY are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. Please visit our website at : http://www.jlcny.org/site/index.php/nys-landowner- defense-donation-information for additional details about the lawsuit and donations. Thank you for your continued support of the JLCNY. Together we will make New York an empire state again. Warm Regards, Dan Fitzsimmons, President Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.