‘Mystery Moratorium’ Sticks In Pennsylvania’s Craw

“Democrats Exploded”

Gotta hand it to our sneaky, fathead governor. The ban on unconventional gas drilling in the South Newark Basin has been as divisive as a new Duke water study.

Since the Bucks and Montgomery county moratorium was tucked into the new state budget, which was signed on July 2, 2012, the articles, posts and Op-Eds decrying the hypocrisy of the measure have been proliferating like crazy. The Inky editorial, Fracking Ban Is About Our Water, says it all. Turns out, when you slyly slip seven all-important paragraphs into a late draft of an already cumbersome state budget, as did Sen. Chuck McIlhinney [R-Bucks], the body politic leaves for summer recess with a sour taste in its mouth. Reporters Michael Macagnone and Angela Couloumbis lay out the details in Local Drilling Moratorium Rankles Rest of State on Philly.com. 

Diverting Attention From Key Issues 

In case you’re tempted to think of the six-year moratorium as a good thing, consider how increased shale gas production in every other county of the state will impact Bucks and Montgomery, regardless of our fancy drilling ban. Pipelines, processing and compressor stations en route to South Philadelphia and Delaware County refineries are planned to crisscross our parks, roads, the Brandywine, and maybe even your backyard. Air pollution won’t stop at county lines.

Of even greater concern, exporting shale gas is a very dangerous enterprise, one which presents a more serious and immediate threat. So much so that in 2004, Peter Levene, CEO of Loyd’s, a British insurer of natural gas port facilities, stated that “Specialists reckon that a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker would have the force of a small nuclear explosion,” according to Mark Reynolds in Loyd’s Executive Likens LNG Attack to Nuclear Explosion on EnergyBulletin.net. In case the header doesn’t grab you, maybe the subhead will: U.S. regulators don’t share the concerns of the top official at the world’s second-largest commercial insurer.

Duke Douses Flaming Bullshit With Science
And in case you’re living under shale rock not over it, here’s the link to Abrahm Lustgarten’s piece in ProPublica.orgNew Study: Fluids From Marcellus Shale Likely Seeping Into PA Drinking Water and Confirmed: Fracking Can Pollute by Sarah Larsen in Salon.com. The paper’s findings suggest that deep, salty brine fluids could migrate upwards through natural pathways, but Duke scientists made no estimate of whether that might take years, decades or centuries. Naturally, that didn’t stop bloggers and the media from speculating on the pollutive possibilities. Is-you-is-or-is-you-ain’t remains to be seen, but the new Duke paper highlights the notion that, soon, the answer may be in reach.

Here’s the link to the Duke University paper, “Geochemical evidence for possible natural migration of Marcellus Formation brine to shallow aquifers in Pennsylvania“:  http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/07/03/1121181109

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2 Responses to “‘Mystery Moratorium’ Sticks In Pennsylvania’s Craw”

  1. caryopteris Says:

    vitriole, inflammatory and divisive article. Nothing productive here…moving on.

  2. Liz Rosenbaum Says:

    It’s merely my opinion… which i also posted on BrynMawr.Patch.com
    http://brynmawr.patch.com/blog_posts/mystery-moratorium-sticks-in-pennsylvanias-craw

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