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Bill Huston From: David Slottje Date: July 02, 2013 Bill: Good morning, and thank you for sending along the note about and link to Mr. LaTourette Sr.s post, some portions of which made reference to me. I found Mr. LaTourettes posts surprising (or at least interesting) in two respects. First, he posted under his real name; that in itself is quite remarkable. Second, even more surprising and in any event more important, is that portion of Mr. LaTourettes post where he brings up the subject of the Village of Oxfords protective law. Mr. LaTourettes position appears to be that the Villages law in question aint no big thing, either because Mr. LaTourette believes that zoning laws do not extend below the surface (the Villages law took the form of an amendment to their zoning code), or because the acreage comprising the Village is small, and so therefor there never was any chance that gas drilling-related activities would take place within the Village. The reason I find this position so surprising is that Mr. LaTourette fought enactment of the law in question TOOTH-AND-NAIL. I will not here go into the details of Mr. LaTourettes campaign, but heres the down-and-dirty summary: (a) Mr. LaTourette and his team promised the Village Board that the Village would be sued if they enacted a protective law; and (b) notwithstanding Mr. LaTourettes present contention that the law isnt important because the Village (rather than some larger place) enacted it, back before enactment Mr. LaTourette and a very large (pro-frack) landowners coalition very, very publicly said that they were drawing a line in the sand with respect to the Village, and in fact the landowners coalition put out a very public call for contributions to a fund to be established to fund legal challenges to protective laws in general, and to sue the Village in particular if it passed a law. If Mr. LaTourette bothers to respond to this response of mine, most likely he will (as he almost always does) call me a liar, and say that none of the foregoing occurred, but it did; here is what (the pro-frack) Marcellus Drilling News wrote about the line in the sand campaign, in a post entitled CNY Landowners Establish Legal Fund to Sue Towns with Bans: Taxpayers in the Village of Oxford may want to prepare for higher taxes to pay a huge legal defense bill. One of the largest landowner groups MDN is Page 1 of 3

Anyway, the Village enacted a protective law, and none of Mr. LaTourette, any landowners coalition, any members thereof, or anyone else sued the Village. But that fact is so much not a surprise as almost not to merit any mention. But what does merit discussion (so thank you, Mr. LaTourette, for bringing Oxford up) is that the approach (both pre- and post- enactment) employed as to Oxford by Mr. LaTourette and his group almost perfectly illustrates the tactics these groups employ throughout the State: First, they go in, and tell the local boards and people in question, that there is absolutely no need for the municipality to consider enacting any protective law not because the industry has come even close to proving that fracking is safe, but because the place in question doesnt have any shale, or the shale is too close to the surface or not thick enough, or doesnt contain any gas, or the gas that is there is over-cooked or too dry or too- something to be marketable, so in any event there is nothing to worry about, because the frackers dont want the town in question anyhow. Then, they tell people that even though (as stated in the previous paragraph) no one in the gas industry intends to come into their town so therefor there is no need to enact a protective law, if the municipality in question nonetheless does elect to enact such a law, they will be sued. (They do not explain why they feel the need to threaten suit to be able to drill in a town, in light of the fact that they have given all kinds of assurances that no one would drill there, anyway.) But they dont sue. (I know of at least 130 municipalities where representatives of the pro-frack camp threatened/promised/guaranteed the municipality in question that it would be sued if it enacted a protective law, and state-wide, only five of those places have in fact been sued.) Then, after the protective law is passed notwithstanding such threats, the pro-frack camp takes its intimidation campaign somewhere else, and very publicly assures all who will listen that they (the pro-frackers) really didnt care about the town or village or city that just passed the protective law in question, anyway, and that enactment of the particular law was actually unimportant to the (pro-frack) cause. (They say this even though in some of these places now asserted to be unimportant or even meaningless, Mr. Shepstone himself had shown up in person to present or argue against enactment, and in at least one case, a former DEC Commissioner had shown up to argue against.)

aware of anywhere in the Marcellus or Utica region, the CNY Landowners Coalition, has promised a lawsuit against Oxford should the Village move forward with language that results in a ban or moratorium. (emphasis added.)

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So the Village of Oxford situation that Mr. LaTourette so helpfully brought up actually followed the typical pattern: the Village began to consider enactment of a protective law, then Mr. LaTourette (and his group) insisted that such a law was not needed, then they threatened that if such a law were passed, the Village would be sued, then what Marcellus Drilling News (MDN) described as one of the largest landowner groups MDN is aware of anywhere in the Marcellus or Utica region very publicly established its line in the sand campaign, specifically targeting/threatening the Village if it passed a protective law; then the Village passed its protective law anyway (in the form of a zoning amendment); then, even though the Village was quite publicly made the target/face of the line in the sand campaign, it was not sued after it enacted its protective law; and now, Mr. LaTourette seems to be saying its no big thing, since industry doesnt want to or (supposedly for space reasons) cant come into the Village anyway. I believe it is important especially for those municipalities that had been waiting for the Third Departments appellate decisions (in the Dryden and Middlefield matters) before progressing to next steps regarding a protective law regarding gas drilling-related activities - to know what the pro-frack playbook looks like, with regard to threatening to bring suit, and otherwise. In the example of Oxford again, Im not at all unhappy that Mr. LaTourette chose Oxford to talk about the Village was explicitly and specifically targeted and named as the poster- child for the line in the sand campaign, but guess what? THEY PASSED A PROTECTIVE LAW ANYWAY, AND WERE NOT SUED. And that is pretty much what always happens. One last thing for those who are interested in such matters: the Yankees have lost five of the last six; A-Rod is not in the dugout or even the clubhouse; and there has been no word or assurance one way or the other from the Yankees or from A-Rod whether A-Rod will be part of the line-up during the second-half of the season. Stay tuned! DFS, July 2, 2013

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