Natural gas plays an important role in New York – especially during the cold winter months when more than half of the households use it as their primary source of heat. New Yorkers are seeing a falling price in their gas bills this winter – partly due to the abnormally high temperatures and partly due to the tremendous supplies of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale drilling efforts.
The benefits of Marcellus Shale production provide more than just reduced heating bills, it also provides remarkable economic activity. During 2011, sales were up by 60 percent at many local businesses in the Southern Tier and local hotels have been at near capacity or at capacity for months on end. In Big Flats, the local airport has added additional flights, parking spaces, and restrooms.
Most of the drilling is taking place on the border in Pennsylvania and New York is seeing the benefit of all of the drilling. Even with this news of an economic boost from Pennsylvania gas production, arguments continue to be made against it. Recent claims have been made against landowners who are signing unclear leases – creating negative light on the gas well lease process. It is also important to note that these claims only represent a fraction of the landowners in the industry. The shale gas development process as whole, has been a success.
When New York gets to the point where it can develop Marcellus Shale to the same extent as its neighbors in Pennsylvania, the benefits are going to prove very promising. So, while New York has taken a back seat and watched the Marcellus shale project boom, it is now time to take a step forward with safe and responsible resource development in the area.