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:
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.