A Declaration of Landowner Rights
Many New York state residents hold valuable mineral rights, including rights tonatural gas deposits in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. The right todevelop one’s property is beholden to the individual and is a fundamental tenet of rights afforded us under the Constitution. As founding father John Adamsasserted, “No part of the property can, with justice, be taken from him, or appliedto public uses, without his own consent.” The state’s current hold on permits forhigh volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing – a technique used to developnatural gas trapped in shale – has severely restricted the rights of property owners to sell, lease, and profit from mineral ownership. We, as residents, taxpayers, and property owners of New York State, have setforth the following “Declaration of Rights” to reclaim ownership of our property and make our voice heard as New York finalizes a plan for allowing shaledevelopment that protects our environment and benefits our communities.Be it resolved, that all New York property owners have a right to:
Timely development of private property
. State officials must pursuethe timely adoption and implementation of sensible development rules.The delays have potentially cost property owners millions of dollars inlease payments and lost income from development of their resourcescontributing to further direct hardship for many families.
Reasonable and timely expansion of permitted developmentareas
. Restrictions on development should reflect a sound scientific basisand a legitimate regulatory concern. Natural gas drilling can be conductedin a safe and responsible manner when consistently regulated underguidelines based on sound science. We have confidence that after overfour years of thorough investigation, New York officials will finalizeguidelines that allow permitting of safe development to proceed.
A uniform standard for natural gas development
. There must beuniform standards for natural gas development implemented by knowledgeable, trained state regulators. New York’s system cannot bedistorted by a confusing legal patchwork that impedes private property rights, hinders progress and limits viable economic opportunity.Local moratoriums are graying the lines of where and what types of mineral development will be allowed. Legislation has even been proposedthat would allow local municipalities to pass additional regulations