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Industry Website Terms SUNY Fracked Gas Deal an “Ironic Twist”

Here’s how Gas Business Briefing, an industry trade website, covered last week’s $22 million deal between EnergyMark, LLC and the State University of New York:

EnergyMark awarded 3-year natgas contract to supply SUNY
In an ironic twist, EnergyMark LLC has been awarded a three-year contract to supply natural gas to five State University of New York campuses with gas from Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania and shallow vertical wells in New York.

New York State currently has in place regulations so tight that it virtually freezes out any horizontal drilling in the state.

The Williamsville, New York-based EnergyMark tells Gas Business Briefing the contract is valued at about $22m, based on current market prices.

The campuses involved include the University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, SUNY Fredonia, Alfred State, and the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

The contract was finalized in November, with supplies to begin flowing on April 1.

By using locally-sourced natural gas, EnergyMark says its shortening the “energy value chain” by bringing less expensive supply from within a 150-mile radius instead of from Western Canada and the Gulf Coast, 1,500 miles away.

“We intend to take advantage of the resources provided from the prolific Marcellus Shale play, which is positioned literally underneath a consuming region,” said Gary Marchiori, EnergyMark’s president, tells GBB.

“Developing and utilizing the local energy supply will make our region self sustained and potentially a net exporter of natural gas.”

New York State may currently have a moratorium on fracking, but that’s no impediment to our state university patronizing the practice just over the Pennsylvania border. SUNY just didn’t want New Yorkers to know about it. According to SUNY’s spokesperson, “(t)he word “hydrofracking” – who said it, and who didn’t – is irrelevant to what this story should be about.”
In fact, SUNY—which has morphed from its original mission“to provide to the people of New York educational services of the highest quality, with the broadest possible access, fully representative of all segments of the population in a complete range of academic, professional and vocational postsecondary programs including such additional activities in pursuit of these objectives as are necessary or customary”—to being an “economic driver for the entire state.” But don’t take it from me, take it from Chancellor Nancy Zimpher:
In the process, SUNY has been and continues to be an active force in the drive to frack NY.
Note that the contract with EnergyMark was finalized last November, and the gas started flowing yesterday (April Fool’s Day). The press release was sent out one week ago today, with the stipulation per SUNY officials that it not mention hydrofracture.
On Friday, I filed a FOIL request with SUNY to obtain a copy of the contract, after being denied a copy by EnergyMark. We’ll see how long it takes that public document to come to light.
Ironic, yes?

  • Jesse Griffis

    I’m not sure what’s “ironic” about any of it.

    Given the never-ending paranoia surrounding the word “hydrofrack” it’s no wonder anyone involved with it would want to avoid using the term.

    Instead of NYers making money and filling Albany coffers with tax and regulation money, we send our dollars to Pennsylvania. I’m sure Harrisburg thanks us!

    • MandyCarolLee

      Wow, I am sure that they are thanking us indeed! Several more business owners are glad this mess is not going to fowl up our state. Let them keep the mess, I would rather have the prosperous wine and tourism industry. Cheers  

  • hulkinett

    For any of us living in the NFG service area, we are already burning fracked gas so why is any of this a surprise to you Buck?  Where do you think NFR gets their natural gas?  Look up Seneca!  Will the ignorance of this blog ever decline?

  • kristine_o

    What the hell is the matter with you commenters, anyway? Can’t you read, reason or analyze? Fracking wells give off absolutely dangerous airborne wastes, cause earthquakes, produce wastewater that is radioactive and deadly poisonous and cancer causing.Don’t you understand the water table from the marcellus shale will eventually pollute all the surrounding water, eventually reaching the Great Lakes, which are 90% of the fresh water supply of the whole North American continent? You must be outright stupid and/or blinded by greed. Damn you all! Fracking is criminal, and maybe New Yorkers need to start “standing their ground”.