Wasting Time on The Marcellus Shale Debate

Wasting Time on The Marcellus Shale Debate

I am extremely frustrated by the debate over Marcellus Shale drilling that is going on right now throughout city council and the mayor’s office is ridiculous election year pandering.  Here are the reasons why:

  1. The biggest reason this whole debate bugs me is that drilling and fracing are not likely to take place within the city limits EVER.  Take a look at that map above (from this site), if it was your job to find a place to drill, what is the last place you’d pick?  The big city in the middle of it, right?  Debating this bill is like debating an ordinance to prevent a trout farm by station square.  Yes, we’d prefer not to have them in our city in spite of the fact that we have the perquisite natural resources.  No, it is not necessary to pass an ordinance forbidding it.  This debate takes place in lieu of these politicians doing something productive (and worthy of my taxpayer dollars) with their time.
  2. One of the often overlooked repercussions of Marcellus drilling in PA and WV for Pittsburghers is the presence of more wealthy taxpayers (both corporate and personal).  Most of this comes from the $5.11 Billion energy giant EQT, headquartered in Pittsburgh and its 1,800 employees.
  3. Another often overlooked repercussion of Marcellus drilling is a reduced dependence on foreign energy sources, one that’s less environmentally dangerous then coal.  I’m for renewable energy as much as the next guy, but we can’t just make that happen overnight.  In the mean time, natural gas is about as green and certainly as American an energy sources as we have.
  4. I’m aware of exactly one Marcellus Drilling accident and it, as with nearly all of the very rare accidents in very remote areas, didn’t affect anyone.  Ideally, the fracing occurs miles below any drinking water and within a giant hunk of solid rock.

Look, I’m not saying it’s the best thing, but it’s a very two-sided discussion that we should leave to the people in the areas that might actually get drilled.