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Bill could spur N.Y. natural gas boom
|ALBANY -- With the stroke of a pen, Gov. David Paterson could give a significant boost to the natural-gas boom in the Southern Tier or slow the process to better plan for the expected surge in drilling.|
Paterson so far isn't saying publicly what he intends to do to the bill, passed last month by the Legislature, but insiders expect him to sign it.
Supporters and opponents are lining up on either side of the bill as they await Paterson's decision.
The measure would streamline the permitting process for new wells and bring it up to date with new technology that allows explorers to drill horizontally as well as vertically.
The new drilling technique is considered crucial as developers go after what might be the largest pool of natural gas in the country beneath a geologic formation that stretches from the Southern Tier west into Ohio and south as far as West Virginia.
The largest estimate of the gas waiting to be extracted from the formation, about 500 trillion cubic feet, is two and a half times as much as the entire country uses in a year.
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