Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gas drilling in PA state forests of great concern for conservation chief

Published December 13, 2009 in the Scranton Times Tribune.
Written by Robert Smith
HARRISBURG - As Pennsylvania prepares for what could be a 50-year period of drilling for deep natural gas pockets in its state forests, the long-term health of these previously damaged forests is on the mind of the state's top conservation official.  John Quigley, the acting secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is preparing to receive bids next month from drilling companies for 32,000 acres of state forest land in the Marcellus Shale formation.  

Much of the acreage in Northcentral Pennsylvania targeted for drilling was owned in the 19th century by timber companies, which clear-cut trees and left millions of acres of denuded and vulnerable to erosion.  The state purchased that land 100 years ago for the public benefit, and professional foresters nurtured the second-growth hardwood forests that exist today.  "The forest you see there is 100 years old," said Mr. Quigley in an office interview last week. "It recovered from the denuded landscape. We have to make sure we don't go back to that."
To read the entire article, click HERE.


Martha Speaks said...

Please be careful when dealing with these oil and gas production companies. Our experience has been that they try to privatize the profits and socialize the cleanup costs. They don't appropriately deal with the radioactive waste (radium-226) that they bring up from these shales. They leave the landowners and/or state taxpayers to pay for the cleanup. Legal protections are ineffective because the companies have swarms of lawyers and "experts" to testify that radiation is not dangerous and does not damage property. You need to keep an eye on the drill site to make sure the company disposes of toxic wastes properly, otherwise you will have trouble.

Good luck.

Michelle said...

Thank you for your comments Martha. I wish I could say they surprise me, but sadly, they don't. Do you live in PA or elsewhere in the country?

Anonymous said...

It is time for the people to rise up and tell these dildines in Harrisburg that they need to show some guts and impose a production tax that generates revenue for local governments.