Listening to Pro-Drilling Landowners in Northeastern PA
Since Tim Darragh’s article, Pennsylvania Lobbying for DRBC Fracking Rules appeared in The Allentown Morning Call on thursday, there’s been a surprising dirth of Comments on the topic. StateImpact gave Darragh’s piece a shout out yesterday, and hopefully that will help raise awareness that the Delaware River is still very much endangered. Maybe it’s an apathetic readership? Or perhaps Patrick Henderson is effectively skirting media radar detection in their outright determination to drill in the Delaware right now, literally at any cost.
Of course, I left a Comment cuz I’m fed up and wondering what did our ecology ever do to Tom Corbett?: “The fact that Corbett wants to drill in the historic, scenic, Delaware without a cumulative impact study is criminal. He should be recalled! It is the source of water for 15.6 million people and it already generates $22 BILLION in revenue for the state each year, according to the University of Delaware. Drilling in any watershed is a terrible idea, rushing to drill this one would be a crime.”
ThePragmatist replied: “@Liz: The problem with your point is that those who own the land that provides the 15.6 million people with water do not receive recompense for that water production. If you will not let those landowners drill for gas, perhaps you and the other 15.6 million would be willing to pay for the water you use — perhaps a couple of hundred dollars per acre per year? Or do you want the landowners to keep paying taxes and not use their land simply for the privilege of providing you with water? I’d call that last possibility ‘greedy’.“
My Reply: “Pragmatist, your point is well taken. I’d be angry if urban liberals tried to tell me what I can/can’t do on my land, but according to my water company’s CEO, “God gives us the water for free.” My rates keep going up yet I’m not complaining. Water is precious. There’s certainly greed here, only it’s not mine. I think we can safely ascribe that characteristic trait of corporate personhood to water “privateers” like AquaAmerica and Pennsylvania-American. If I thought drilling could be done safely, I would mind my own business. Yet our watersheds are interconnected ecologies which don’t respect property lines or zoning.
“The more I learn about gas production, the more I think we need to protect our watersheds. From air pollution to methane migration, spills, explosions and deteriorating wellbore seals, I just don’t buy the Industry’s safety claims. Will they replug the 10,000+ wells in perpetuity?
“Corbett has no plan for this, and frankly, we have no business Fracking in watersheds without a Comprehensive Impact Study, one which includes socio-economic data and sets a new standard for transparency. We’re not simply talking about the watershed, it’s also the foodshed, tourism, healthcare… beer!”
I look forward to her, or his, reply.
Tags: Corbett, Delaware River Basin Commission, Fracking The Delaware