The Fracking News – “We are the sacrifice”

The Fracking News

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the PA legislature served up two real turkeys, passing HB1950 and SB1100. PennFuture has a concise description of both; they sum it up well here:

The drillers wanted to get rid of the need to deal with local municipalities; they got it. The drillers wanted any fee or tax to be as small as possible; they got it.  But for the rest of us, this turkey isn’t even edible. Unless major changes are made, both of these bills should be thrown in the garbage.

Last Friday the University of Pittsburgh held their health conference on shale drilling. Several of the presentations are available online here.  I’d suggest checking out CMU’s Dr. Allen Robinson on air pollution issues related to Marcellus gas production, and Dr. Simona Perry, who discusses the social and psychological effects of the drilling on the people in Bradford County. She likens it to “psychological abuse and trauma.” 

 Here’s a remarkably accurate statement from PA author Seamus Mcgraw, who’s seen as “the middle.”

He sees the gas companies as corporations; machines with the singular function of making profit, much the same as any other company, and said it is in everyone’s best interest to view and treat them that way.

 Here’s a remakably worrying statement from industry whistle-blower Scott Ely about his work with Cabot, and the multiple unreported spills he witnessed:

“In the beginning we would dig a hole and then we’d just throw plastic in it,” he said. “That was more or less to make the homeowners feel comfortable about us drilling on their property.”……”We’re the sacrifice”

Seems like each week there’s some usual business with the Corbett administration catering to the industrypeople calling them out on it, And then there’s the usual news about how this boom is just a boom, and it isn’t going to be as great for PA as we thought, in most any respects.  There’s also further evidence that fracking depresses property values., and even more evidence that we should be worried about the health effects of fracking. And of course, earthquakes, and more earthquakes.  

 A couple other interesting stories over the last week from New York City:

And just in case you thought this shale gas thing here in PA isn’t really a big deal, check out what the Saudi’s think about it.


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