If this evil and blatant usury of our land is not stopped by our elected and sworn representatives by listening to reason, constituents, and the constitution – if they wimp out on their duty to make sure anything done to this state is done right or not at all; if this illegal attack supplants democracy – then democracy will be wrestled back, one way or another.
Article I of the Pennsylvania State Constitution:
Natural Resources and the Public Estate
The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.
By way of Susquehanna River Sentinel here is an enlightening article by a scientist, Robert Howarth, who is the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology at Cornell University He is an “internationally known expert on environmental issues and water quality”. (article source:)
But go ahead and listen to light weight politicos like Urban, Rendell, and Cheney. All they ever see is their own political interest. None of them ever had an original thought which went beyond manipulation. Go ahead and ask one, “Hey Dick, give me an original solution.” Guaranteed it will be ideological, self-serving, transparent, and tired.
Read and think:
Natural gas is marketed as a clean fuel with less impact on global warming than oil or coal, a transitional fuel to replace other fossil fuels until some distant future with renewable energy. Some argue that we have an obligation to develop Marcellus Shale gas, despite environmental concerns. I strongly disagree.
Natural gas as a clean fuel is a myth. While less carbon dioxide is emitted from burning natural gas than oil or coal, emissions during combustion are only part of the concern. Natural gas is mostly methane, a greenhouse gas with 72 times more potential than carbon dioxide to warm our planet (per molecule, averaged over the 20 years following emission). I estimate that extraction, transport and combustion of Marcellus gas ? together with leakage of methane ? makes this gas at least 60 percent more damaging for greenhouse warming than crude oil and similar in impact to coal.
The most recent method of hydro-fracking is relatively new technology, massive in scope and far from clean in ways beyond greenhouse gas emissions. The landscape could be dotted with thousands of drilling pads, spaced as closely as one every 40 acres. Compacted gravel would cover three to five acres for each. New pipelines and access roads crisscrossing the landscape would connect the pads. Ten or more wells per pad are expected. Every time a well is “fracked,” 1,200 truck trips will carry the needed water.
Drillers will inject several million gallons of water and tens of thousands of pounds of chemicals into each well. Some of this mixture will stay deep in the shale, but cumulatively, billions of gallons of waste fluids will surface. Under current law, drillers can use absolutely any chemical additive or waste, with no restrictions and no disclosure. Recent experience in Pennsylvania indicates regular use of toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic substances. Out of 24 wells sampled there, flow-back wastes from every one contained high levels of 4-Nitroquinoline-1-oxide, (according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation). It is one of the most mutagenic compounds known. Flow-back wastes also contain toxic metals and high levels of radioactivity extracted from the shale, in addition to the materials used by drillers.
Industry tells us that surface and groundwater contamination is unlikely, since gas is deep in the ground and drilling operations are designed to minimize leakage. Nonsense. The technology is new and understudied, but early evidence shows high levels of contamination in some drinking water wells and rivers in other states.
Accidents happen, and well casings and cementing can fail. The geology of our region is complex, and water and materials under high pressure can move quickly to aquifers, rivers and lakes along fissures and fractures. Flow-back waters and associated chemical and radioactive wastes must be handled and stored at the surface, some in open pits and ponds unless government regulation prevents this. What will keep birds and wildlife away from it? What happens downstream if a heavy rain causes the toxic soup to overflow the dam? What happens to these wastes? Adequate treatment technologies and facilities do not exist.
What about government regulation and oversight? The DEC is understaffed,underfunded and has no history with the scale and scope of exploitation now envisioned. Federal oversight is almost completely gone, due to Congress exempting gas development from most environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, in 2005.
We can be independent of fossil fuels within 20 years and rely on renewable green technologies, such as wind and solar. The constraints on this are mostly political, not technical. We do not need to sacrifice a healthy environment to industrial gas development. Rather, we need to mobilize and have our region provide some badly needed national leadership toward a sustainable energy future.
Lead into the sustainable, organic, regional-centric economic future? Nah… let’s go back to the mines, the usury, the elitism… it makes perfect non-sense… and so the fools continue to rule us…
Don Williams of Wyalusing Rocks Pennsylvania (Penn’s Woods) has an essential reading blog titled Susquehanna River Sentinel. He was the activist who saved us from the inflatable dam. Now he is the main man for staying current and hip with the gas drilling scene.
He is: earth first, speak truth to power, and live with courage. I like that in a dude.
Find his link in the the right hand column under #2 – Local Bloggers – Big Gas in Their Sights.
Energy Independence???? Look up in the fracking sky!!!!! NEPA should be making on-site solar panels, windmills, and geothermal. We should be leaders rather than donors. We owe it to our ancestors. They suffered – hoping we would have a better life. Now Big Energy wants us to lie face down, once again. I say, NO! We are the future, not the past.
from Philadelphia Inquirer 11/8/09 article titled
Lobbyists open wallets to influence Pa. budget:
note: the bold highlight is my doing:
“To natural-gas drillers, too, the writing was on the wall as early as February. That was when Rendell announced in his budget address that he was pushing for a new tax on the odorless, colorless gas found deep below Pennsylvania’s soil.
Rendell said the tax would bring in about $100 million this year, thanks to what he called the “gold rush” of new drilling for natural gas in the vast underground formation known as the Marcellus Shale.
But in late August, the governor – to the surprise of some of his aides – said drilling executives had convinced him that imposing the tax this year would stunt the growth of the industry. Rendell said he would abandon his push until next year. The companies won another major victory in the prolonged budget battle, persuading lawmakers to open up thousands of additional acres of state forest land to drillers despite the concerns of environmentalists. The industry’s argument: The state could bring in more revenue by leasing the land to drillers than by taxing the gas extracted.
As a whole, the natural-gas industry reported spending about $1.6 million on lobbying thus far this year.
Range Resources Appalachia L.L.C., a Texas company that has invested heavily in drilling in the Marcellus Shale, led the way, spending $605,817 this year – nearly triple the expenditure of the next-closest natural-gas company, Chesapeake Appalachia L.L.C. By comparison, Range Resources reported spending less than $200,000 on lobbying here last year.
“Natural gas has a big story to tell and a good story to tell,” said Matthew M. Pitzarella, spokesman and registered lobbyist for Range Resources. “It is critically important that our elected leaders and regulators have a healthy understanding of modern natural-gas development and the potential for Pennsylvania.”