NEW YORK — For those attorneys and government officials in New York, where a ruling from Governor Mario Cuomo on whether to allow shale gas drilling operations (or fracking) to move forward is forthcoming, an upcoming HB Litigation Conference will present an important opportunity to learn more about the implications of this ruling, as well as what reasoning may affect the governor’s eventual decision.
“Now is the time for New York attorneys and local officials to get up to speed on fracking – the law and the science, not the hype and misinformation that is out there. HB’s fracking litigation conference provides a fantastic opportunity for a one-day immersion in these issues from the top practitioners and experts in the field,” said Jennifer Quinn-Barabanov of Steptoe & Johnson, who is co-chairing the Shale Gas Drilling (Fracking) Conference which will be held Oct. 3 at Thomson Hall in New York.
On Sept. 20, Gov. Cuomo’s administration announced that it was postponing its decision until it completed a review of the potential public health effects of the process.
“Although the ruling was anticipated to be a quick one by the administration, once the overwhelming number of public responses to the potential ruling were seen, it made it difficult for Governor Cuomo to either permit or deny fracking completely,” said Marc J. Bern of Napoli Bern Ripka & Shkolnik, who is the other co-chair on the event.
“This could turn out to be a central issue in campaigns for the governor of NY as well as in presidential politics if not during this election, particularly in subsequent presidential elections where there may or may not be an incumbent,” said Bern.
Bern said that although the ruling may not have significance on fracking operations in states like Pennsylvania and Texas, it will certainly affect a state with some of the largest shale gas resources in the country.
“The potential in New York of course is so tremendous that that will be the story in and of itself,” he said. “I believe that the ruling will attempt to eventually take the burden of either side away from the governor and put it within the local government’s control.”