Friday, June 29, 2012
NO DICK CHENEY INSPIRED “CHESAPEAKE LOOPHOLE” FOR NEW YORK STATE
Press Statement by Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director
In a Dick Cheney inspired move, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation provided energy industries exclusive access to shape fracking regulations. We find it distressing and troublesome that the NYS DEC gave the natural gas drilling industry exclusive access to pending regulations for shale drilling and also allowed energy industry input to potentially weaken those regulations.
The public deserves answers to the following questions: Did DEC cross the line and breach public trust? Did DEC become an agency that represents corporate interests in place of public interests? The sharing of the regulations exclusively with the industry may not have been illegal but was it ethical?
This is the same backdoor process used by Vice President Dick Cheney that gave the American public the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which contained what is commonly referred to as the 2005 Halliburton loophole. This well documented obscene process produced legislation exempting certain energy interests from following critical environmental and public health protection regulations, including the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Why is NY DEC following in Cheney’s footsteps?
New Yorkers deserve better! CCE is calling on the New York State Legislature to hold public hearings and ascertain the truth about this secret collusion. Transparency is the heart of democracy. A secret process putting energy corporations in the driver’s seat should not be tolerated whether it’s legal or not. The public has a right to know why industry was allowed to shape this critical and controversial public policy while the environmental and public health advocates were intentionally excluded. New Yorkers need to trust that our regulatory agency is fulfilling their mandate to protect public health and our natural world. A Cheney inspired “Chesapeake Loophole” should not be tolerated in New York State.
Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org
updated by bsmith 6/29/12