There has been a lot of talking about the Marcellus Shale and Hydrofracking ... whether gas recovery is a good thing or a bad thing. It certainly presents an opportunity, but also a threat.
It is doubtful that fracking will take place locally, and the controversy here seems a time waster. The boundary of the Marcellus just touches southern Oneida County and it is likely too shallow to be productive. The same can be said of the Utica Shale, which is productive in Ohio, but outcrops (comes to the surface) in . . . Utica, which is where it got its name. (I have a garden full of it!). It really should be a non-issue here.
But what IS a non-issue and perhaps should not be is the fact that New York State is one of very few oil and gas producers that has no mineral severance tax. It's hard to believe that there is a tax that NYS does not have, but this is one. While it is doubtful that NYS could fuel state government with such a tax (like Texas or Alaska), it might be worthwhile to consider enough of a tax to pay for the oversight of the industry.
Pros and Cons of such a tax should be considered, of course, but it seems that it should be considered now with all the controversy.