On Sept 5, 2012, the non-partisan US Gov’t Accountability Office issued Document #GAO-12-732: “Information on Shale Resources, Development, and Environmental and Public Health Risks.”
It finds that: “the extent of these risks associated with shale oil and gas development is unknown, in part, because the studies GAO reviewed do not generally take into account the potential long-term, cumulative effects.” It notes, however, that “According to EPA analysis, natural gas well completions involving hydraulic fracturing vent approximately 230 times more natural gas and volatile organic compounds than natural gas well completions that do not involve hydraulic fracturing, ” and “water used in shale oil and gas development is largely a consumptive use and can be permanently removed from the hydrologic cycle” (1).
Most telling, though, is that “EPA promulgated New Source Performance Standards for the oil and gas industry that, when fully phased-in by 2015, will require emissions reductions” (1).
So the risks are unknown, but emission reductions are warranted. Then why not allow the rest of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be protected from the moratorium which was slipped into our budget at the last minute? Why only protect two counties – Bucks and Montgomery – where 1) very little if any fracking occurs, and 2) many politically connected and wealthy people live?
This moratorium protects these two very influential counties until well after the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards kick in. The rest of PA might want to hold its breath and wait.
Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-10 – who according to marcellusmoney.org has taken $3,000 from O&G PACs (2) – said: “We need to slow this down until we can do a study on it — see what’s there, see where it is, see how deep it is, study the impact, get the local supervisor’s thoughts on it” (3). Good idea, Senator…for your own county, but not mine. Why not?
Everyone in the 65 unprotected counties should be asking this as well.
UPDATE – Oct 6, 2013. This preferential treatment of the connected and wealthy may not withstand the influence of Oil & Gas lobby much longer. One law for all in 2018? RT@marcellus_SWPA – Bucks & Montgomery County, PA – Your temporary ban on #fracking’s about to be ‘disappeared’.
UPDATE – April 18, 2016: And Range Resources Answers what Government Doesn’t
After almost 4 years, Terry Bossert says Range Resources tries to avoid fracking:
“near “big houses” where residents might have the financial resources to challenge”
This is called Environmental Injustice, and it must stop. If this is so great, put it in beside the mansions. Not just above the poor people’s water supply.
And by the way, how come Bucks and Montgomery (two of our wealthiest counties) have had it banned by state legislation, when no one else is allowed to even by their own local ordinance?
I asked that years ago and got no answer. I think I’ve finally gotten it. Thank you Range Resources, for letting your guard down just enough to allow the truth to escape.