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09 19 2011

New York: Landowners signed leases and now have regrets

Many landowners in New York who signed leases to hydraulic fracturing companies are now having regrets, for a variety of reasons. Some wish they had bargained more and gotten better deals. Others regret their choice now that the debate over the environmental risks has increased. Ellen Harrison, who lives in Caroline, New York, has started a group called Fleased in order to fight the companies and help property owners escape their leases. Many landowners have had their leases extended without their consent because the companies have invoked force majeure, which means there was an unanticipated event that prohibited the two sides from fulfilling an agreement. Thus far, 400 landowners have filed lawsuits against gas companies. Some feel the gas company representatives misled them, some want the market value for their leases and some just want to be released from their lease.