Draft New York State Energy Plan Does Not Include Marcellus Shale Drilling

The New York State Energy Planning Board released its Draft 2014 State Energy Plan on January 7, 2014.  Although one of the draft plan’s key initiatives includes expanding access to natural gas as an alternative to petroleum products for heating and power generation, the Energy Planning Board does not take a position on whether the State should allow Marcellus Shale drilling.  The Energy Planning Board notes in the draft plan that, although “both horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are not new to natural gas development in New York, Marcellus Shale drilling using these techniques is on hold pending additional review.”  According to the Energy Planning Board, natural gas production in other states currently satisfies 97 percent of New York’s demand, with a growing proportion of that supply coming from the Marcellus and other shale plays.

The Energy Planning Board predicts that New York’s natural gas production will continue to decrease significantly unless the State’s Marcellus Shale reserves are developed.  Regardless of New York’s decision on whether to lift its five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, the Energy Planning Board concluded that sufficient natural gas supplies should be available from other states to meet future demand, as long as interstate pipeline capacity exists to serve New York.  The Energy Planning Board intends to hold public hearings in several cities and is currently accepting public comments in writing or electronically at energyplan.ny.gov.