Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today applauded New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for his investigation into whether shale gas companies have accurately described to investors the prospects for their natural gas wells.
In June, Hinchey sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) questioning the manner in which both bodies have handled shale gas reserve estimates. The letters followed two concerning reports in The New York Times. One report revealed that rule changes and oversight problems at the SEC may have caused natural gas companies to overestimate their reserves. A separate report detailed the use of data from industry-biased sources and intra-agency disagreements regarding gas reserve estimates at EIA.
Hinchey is a leader in the effort to protect drinking water and the environment from the risks of hydraulic fracturing. He is a co-author of the FRAC Act, which would mandate public disclosure of chemicals used in frack fluid and allow the EPA to regulate fracking activities under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The congressman also authored the appropriations language that led to the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study on hydraulic fracturing.
"Considering the reckless way in which hydraulic fracturing has been carried out in other parts of the country, it is important that we understand all of the environmental and economic impacts that would result if drilling were to move forward in our state. That's what I've been working to do, and I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman for taking action to protect our water resources and investigating whether the gas industry is misleading investors and the public about the economics behind shale gas drilling."