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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SBE Council Chief Economist on Importance of Natural Gas Development for New York

In anticipation of this week's hearings over pending natural gas regulations from the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council chief economist Raymond Keating warns how unduly onerous regulations would come at a high cost to the economic welfare of New York businesses and families:

"Excessive rules and fees would amount to a de facto moratorium on natural gas development. The maze of red tape proposed by the Delaware River Basin Commission would inhibit New Yorkers from taking advantage of the energy gold mine laying a mile beneath our feet.

"Safe development of the Marcellus Shale's vast resources through fair regulations would encourage commerce, entrepreneurship, and job growth throughout the region -- particularly good news for a state faced with a $9 billion budget shortfall and 8% unemployment.

"As our leaders, such as Governor Cuomo, face difficult decisions to ameliorate these financial woes, the jobs and investment available through natural gas production should come as a welcome relief."

It is important to note that on the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council's "Small Business Survival Index 2010: Ranking the Policy Environment for Entrepreneurship Across the Nation," which ranks the states according to their public policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship, New York ranked 49th - or third worst - among the 50 states and District of Columbia. Keating added: "The state's economic environment needs to improve wherever it can, including in the area of energy development."

DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency responsible for the water quality and supply of the Delaware River basin. The agency's commission is comprised of representatives from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the Army Corps of Engineers. DRBC has schedule public hearings this week to hearing comments from the community regarding the agency's proposed regulations on natural gas development projects.

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