Evidently enough. . . for some.
The American Petroleum Institute paid Greg Sovas, a former DEC employee $47,387 in consulting fees over a period of 6 months. Greg Sovas submitted affidavits in both the Dryden and Middlefield lawsuits on behalf of the plaintiffs – to the effect that gas wells are somehow magically exempt from local land use laws – a view that he did not hold when he made speeches as a DEC employee – that Home Rule applies to gas wells. Something that 3 courts – including two that read Sovas’s preposterous flip-flopping affidavit – all agree on: The state regulates how gas wells are drilled. The towns regulate where. What a frackin concept.
The American Petroleum Institute spent $265,054 on lobbying in the state from January through June of this year, the trade group’s semi-annual report shows.That’s more than the group spent in New York over the prior two years, which totalled about $180,000 combined.
Also listed—$47,387 in consulting fees to XRM LLC, a firm owned by Greg Sovas, who formerly headed the DEC’s mineral resources division and is an outspoken supporter of hydrofracking. Sovas has submitted affidavits in a pair of lawsuits over “home rule”—whether local governments have the right to ban gas drilling and hydrofracking within their borders—and is part of a company that treats hydrofracking wastewater.