Lifton Introduces Consumer Protection Legislation Related to Natural Gas Leasing

June 15, 2011

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WF- 125th AD) today has introduced a package of six consumer protection bills in response to concerns from landowners, real estate agents, mortgage lending institutions, and county clerks’ offices, to address numerous issues about natural gas leases.

“I am deeply concerned about the impacts of hydrofracking upon the mortgaging and insuring of residential property subject to an oil and gas lease. My local bankers are telling me that they have not been able to originate mortgages in many instances where a property is subject to a gas lease. That means that people, increasingly, can’t sell or buy some homes in our area,” said Lifton.

“New Yorkers need to have more information about, and involvement in, their lease transactions, have the ability to give informed consent to the risks posed to the mortgaging and insuring of residential property with an oil and gas lease, and receive automatic notification of lease assignment. My bills create greater transparency for state purposes, by creating a state clearinghouse for gas leases, and also for other interested parties in regard to important lease information. The other bills require the signature of both parties to a lease when filing a lease extension, a mandatory 30-day filing timeline for all oil and gas leases, and the last requires that oil and gas leases are filed in their entirety for public review,” Lifton continued.

“We as a state should carefully examine these critical issues involving gas leasing which deeply impact our communities. We need to prevent disastrous effects to the lending and real estate markets in New York, in order to protect the tremendous investment people have in their homes,” Lifton emphasized.