Marcellus Drilling: Is the PA Gas Rush Worth the Cost?
AUDUBON MAGAZINE TAKES A LOOK AT THE WILD WEST OF THE EAST
Pennsylvania, reeling from a budget crisis, exploits—at any and all costs—what might be the largest U.S. natural gas deposit. The results could be disastrous. By Ted Williams
If the current orgy is allowed to continue and if it becomes a model for the other Marcellus states, vast swaths of the East’s best forests will be fragmented, groundwater and surface water polluted, and fish and wildlife wiped out on a scale that would dwarf the recent tragedy seen in the gas fields of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.
A just released report on The Campaign Contributions & Lobbying Expenditures of the Natural Gas Industry in Pennsylvania authored by Common Cause Pennsylvania provides an eye-opening look at the correlation between campaign contributions of the big players in the Marcellus Shale boom and its success in rapidly expanding operations in the state before the potential for environmental damage from drilling has been fully studied.
A modern-day Gold Rush in a state with “Wild West” campaign finance laws is a potentially dangerous combination. Without a severance tax, how will Pennsylvania pay to mitigate environmental damage, maintain and expand local infrastructure, and cover other costs that result from drilling? And without further study of the environmental consequences of hydraulic fracturing for the state’s water supply, and the possible risks to human health, how can we know how great this cost will be?
– Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets authors Alex Kaplan and James Browning
For a personal look inside the gas drilling phenomena and its impacts on local communities, join filmmaker Josh Cox and view his Sundance FIlm Festival award-winning documentary GASLAND at upcoming screenings in our area:
Wednesday, June 2 at the County Theater in Doylestown, PA
Thursday June 3 at Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown, NJ
On April 10, GASLAND, Winner of the Special Jury Prize for documentary at 2010 Sundance Film Festival will be screening at Philadelphia’s Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street at 5:30 pm. Immediately afterwards, the filmmaker will join PA Gubernatorial candidate Joe Hoeffel for a discussion about the implications of drilling for gas in Marcellus shale at the Naked Chocolate Cafe, 31 South 18th Street.
GASLAND GASLAND follows filmmaker Josh Fox as he sets off on a 24-state journey to uncover the deep consequences of the United States’ natural gas drilling boom after he discovers that natural gas drilling is coming to his area—the Catskillls/Poconos region of Upstate New York and Pennsylvania. What he uncovers is truly shocking–water that can be lit on fire right out of the sink, chronically ill residents of drilling areas from disparate locations in the US all with the same mysterious symptoms, huge pools of toxic waste that kill cattle and vegetation well blowouts and huge gas explosions consistently covered up by state and federal regulatory agencies…
Snow Melt is Runoff is Stormwater in a Different Form…
…and stormwater runoff is one of the biggest threats to water quality around. We’ve been working on bringing water quality issues to the public for the better part of a decade through the GreenWorks television series, documentary specials such as The Water We Share, From Bay to PA, and Life on the Delaware, and our Watersheds Weekly webcasts (archived programs will be coming to this site soon). And yet, for the past couple of years, we’ve really zeroed in on stormwater, because it’s where the cascade effects of human activities can really be seen. (more…)