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Landowners' lament


In a recent conference call, House Representative Tom Reed said that the state's decision to ban high-volume hydraulic fracturing is "the wrong decision for New York State's future." And he said that property owners should be compensated for the money they could've made from fracking on their land.

Reed called the decision a missed opportunity for the state and said that fracking could provide jobs and a boost for the Southern Tier's depressed economy. The decision is political, he said, and driven by Governor Andrew Cuomo's presidential ambitions.

Reed's remarks aren't much different from those made by other fracking supporters in the wake of the ban. But he seized on a novel point by arguing for compensation for property owners.

"You should compensate individuals for taking their property," Reed said during the call.

And he said that he wants to work with members of the state's Congressional delegation, as well as state legislators to look into legislation that could ultimately force those payments.

Pro- and anti-fracking activists have said that it's entirely likely that some property owners may sue the state seeking compensation for the loss of the revenue-making opportunity.