Natural Gas – Who Pays Whose Pockets, and Who’s Protected?

Gov. Tom Corbett announced Tuesday, Sept 17, 2013 that PA taxpayers will provide $3,665,783 Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) Loans, and $626,025 Grants for natural gas projects (CNG/LNG) in Adams, Allegheny, Beaver, Cumberland, Erie, Franklin, Lycoming, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties:

 Applicant Project County Loan Grant
Clean Energy dba Clean Energy Inc. New Oxford CNG Station Adams $436,267
Desdemona Holdings LP American Natural Station Square CNG Development Allegheny $248,200 $372,300
Beemac Trucking LLC Beemac Trucking CNG Beaver $469,292
Clean Energy Carlisle Flying-J Liquefied Natural Gas Fueling Station Cumberland $539,014
Birkmire Trailer Company CNG Filling Station Erie $207,969
“O” Ring CNG Fuel Systems, Inc. Borough of Chambersburg CNG Project Franklin $645,000
PMF Industries, Inc. US CNG Products Lycoming $250,000
Sunoco CNG Refueling – PA Turnpike King of Prussia Service Plaza Montgomery $504,348
Clean Energy dba Clean Energy Inc. King of Prussia CNG Station Montgomery $196,543
VNG.CO LLC dba V NG.CO 2901 Abbottsford Philadelphia $169,150 $253,725


Most appear to be fueling stations. This appears to follow CFA CNG/LNG policy of 25% grants for private CNG/LNG stations and 40% grants for publicly accessible CNG/LNG fueling stations, for up to 50% project cost.

Those in Adams, Cumberland, Erie, Franklin, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties are in areas where the effects of fracking are not typically felt. In fact, Montgomery County currently enjoys a moratorium on fracking, as I’ve previously covered:

Such moves promote natural gas, which is largely procured by fracking in PA.  Fair enough; if we have to have fracking, let’s at the very least be able to utilize gas here. I am concerned, however, that the global price of NG will drive up PA’s cost, minimizing and possibly negating any financial benefit to We The People who are sacrificing our air, water and dirt to produce the stuff. If we can find a way to prevent, offset or compensate for that, and make sure the benefits are shared equally with those who pay the sacrifice, that seems to be as good as it gets here in Frackylvania, USA, Earth. At least, for those of us outside the Delaware River watershed and outside of politically connected, wealthy, moratorium-protected bubbles of Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

Promoting fracking outside of select moratorium-protected bubbles so aggressively remains curious and a little alarming, though.  Many public servants are ensuring the protection of their citizens’ water, and therefore, protecting their citizens, PRIOR TO allowing fracking to even begin.

For example, those responsible for providing life-giving water to the resident of our nation’s capitol have justified reservations.

“enough study on the technique (hydraulic fracturing, or fracking) has been done and information has been published to give us great cause for concern about the potential for degradation of the quality of our raw water supply as well as impact to the quantity of the supply.” ~ Tom Jacobus, managing director, Washington, DC Aqueduct, in letter to the U.S. Forest Service.

“We do not believe that sufficient proof exists at this point to support horizontal drilling in such an important part of the watershed.” ~ George Hawkins, general manager, DC Water, in letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, whose department oversees the Forest Service.

I hope  those responsible for providing life-giving water to my son knows better; time will tell if they do.


About steventodd

Both parties are broken by big money...what to do? I'm a dad, husband, son, taxpayer, voter, civil engineer, reporter, blogger, rabble-rouser and honest guy.
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