Last week, the largest natural gas lease holder in New York state issued two slightly different messages about its plans for drilling in the watershed that provides 90 percent of New York City's drinking water.

On Wednesday morning, Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced that it had voluntarily decided not to drill [1] in the watershed in upstate New York. But later that evening, at the state's first public hearing on proposed natural gas development [2] in the Marcellus Shale, the company said it would object to any official state ban on drilling in the watershed.

"It would be improper to ban drilling in any particular area of the state, as such a ban is inconsistent with the declared legislative policy to promote recovery of this resource and amounts to a regulatory taking of the mineral interests affected by such a ban," said Scott Rotruck, Chesapeake's vice president of corporate development, who read from a prepared statement at the meeting. Chesapeake did not respond to requests for an interview.

So what does Chesapeake's pledge actually mean?

(Click to read entire article)


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