The “Bridge Fuel” Fantasy

Is Large-Scale Fracking for Natural Gas Inevitable in Pennsylvania?

Yes, it’s already begun. And we’re the only state that allows frack waste water to be dumped in our rivers and streams. New York State has wisely placed a Moratorium on new frack wells until more science is concluded. New Jersey is considering one, too, though they don’t have much gas there. Nevertheless, realistically, there are more than  10,000 lucrative permits poised to be approved in Pennsylvania. The clock is ticking, and many people downstream, in the Philadelphia area, are decidedly alarmed. Strict regulation may be our only salvation, yet these same powerful commercial interests are also working to de-fund the EPA and The PA Department of Environmental Protection. Even President Obama seems pretty keen to frack away at our poor, beautiful state.

One is left to wonder, then, how exactly will Natural Gas serve as a bridge fuel?

If Natural Gas is truly a bridge to renewable alternatives, and a panacea for our ailing economy, then what’s the whole strategy? Better cement jobs? Politically appointed state oversight commissions? Taxation? It seems like a new chapter in the same old ugly fossil fuel story. Nothing that is happening in Harrisburg indicates that being a bridge fuel is the end-goal here. We cannot allow the profit motives of a handful of large corporations to leave us with a legacy of pollution and disease. Over a million residents in PA share my concerns, and that number is growing every day as this critical issue continues to come to the fore. What will it take for leaders in America to realize that there is indeed a link between our health and pollution in our environment?

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