Nearly nine years after the state officially put the kibosh on controversial fracking plans for the Southern Tier, a business with ties to the fossil fuel industry is offering a new – potentially environmentally friendly – process of getting New York’s methane and turning it into power.
Southern Tier Solutions is hoping to secure at least 100,000 acres of land in Broome, Chemung, and Tioga counties, with the long-term goal of landing 1 million acres, which they would develop for “closed-loop drilling” that would pump carbon dioxide into the ground and remove methane, the primary component of natural gas. Instead of piping the gas around the state, the company wants to build 10 power plants in the region, which would pump any byproducts back into the ground.
“No methane is released into the atmosphere through this process. No carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere,” Southern Tier Solutions President Bryce Phillips told The Capitol Pressroom.
You can hear his full interview below.
Phillips stresses that this process is completely different from the high-volume, hydraulic fracturing that was banned in 2014 by the Cuomo administration. The company hopes to develop a handful of “proof-of-concept” wells this spring, if it can amass enough property leases and secure the necessary regulatory approval.
Asked about the potential of hostile state policymakers and a drawn out regulatory process in New York, Phillips said they will pursue the project as long as “we feel like the needle is moving.” The company has already reached out to about 6,000 property owners and has begun holding informational sessions in the Southern Tier.