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Fractivists Want River Commission to Regulate Gas Pipelines

Environmental activists want The Delaware River Basin Commission to regulate gas pipeline construction that could affect the watershed

The Delaware River Basin Com­mis­sion (DRBC) remains silent on new Marcellus Shale drilling reg­u­la­tions for the Delaware River water­shed as commission members from New York work on completing their reg­u­la­tory update, according to a State Impact report.

In the mean­time, pipeline con­struc­tion in Penn­syl­va­nia is boom­ing. Smaller lines from well­heads, as well as large inter­state lines, will go below rivers and streams. Activists who want the DRBC to ban gas drilling also want the commission to start weigh­ing in on pipelines near water­ways which feed the Delaware.

Should the DRBC regulate new gas pipelines that could affect the Delaware River watershed? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

It's been ten months since the DRBC canceled a vote on natural gas regulations that would have allowed drilling in the Delaware River watershed.

On Wednesday, at its fourth meeting since that canceled vote, none of the five members - representing Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, and the federal government - on the Delaware River Basin Commission offered comment on the matter, according to a Philly.com report.

Despite low prices and a new tax on the industry, natural gas production in Pennsylvania has doubled in the past year.

Drillers operating in Pennsylvania’s expansive Marcellus shale gas field extracted 895 billion cubic feet of gas during the first six months of 2012, according to figures released by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

That’s up from about 435 billion cubic feet during the same period in 2011, according to DEP.

More than 2,700 actively producing Marcellus shale gas wells exist in Pennsylvania, with the highest concentration in Washington and Greene counties in the state’s southwest corner and Tioga, Susquehanna and Bradford counties along the northern tier, according to DEP.

Ron Beitler September 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I agree with that. There is no doubt Nat gas IS the bridge we need to buy time until green energy is cost efficient. All we need to do is just figure out how to get it out of the ground safely. I could dig up dozens of article citing incidents like this: http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2012/07/05/4700-gallons-of-acid-spill-at-bradford-county-drilling-site/ There ARE viable alternatives to chemical fracking. Exothermic non-hydraulic extraction for one. Why aren't we exploring these? Probably chemical fracking is slightly cheaper.
Ron Beitler September 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Tamyra.... evaporation can't happen underground.
Ron Beitler September 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Here is my take: 1. I have no doubt fracking harms groundwater. No doubt in my mind. I personally know people whose wells have been affected. But the windfall is so big they ignore health concerns because they have no other comparable alternative. 2. Despite the danger, Nat Gas remains our best hope for energy independence. . . FOR NOW. It's the bridge we need before green energy becomes sustainable. 3. What we need to explore is an alternative to fracking to get the nat gas out of the ground. I agree nat gas is the way to go. We just need a safe way to get it out. These alternatives exist now. Why we aren't exploring them is the 10 million dollar question. 4. Drilling is a temporary economic boom to desperate areas. It is a bandaid for local economies in the northern tier. A lucrative band-aid but one nonetheless. It's temporary. We need permanent solutions to bring jobs to these areas.
Ron Beitler September 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Also the distinction of "greenies" is getting more and more blurred. Trust me, the fastest growing segment of the republic party are the young fiscal conservatives who also happen to be environmentally aware and really could care less about social issues other then the need to reform entitlements. The days where the republican party was the steward of the environment is coming back I sincerely hope. This is true now in the case of younger republicans, I hear it everyday. Folks need to get used to that. And old line R politicians who support dismantling of environmental laws need to understand this. At least if they want to win elections. Remember it was TR who created our national park system... Nixon who signed into the law the National Environmental Policy Act.. R's who passed the Wilderness act Ford who initiated MPG standards Reagan supported the Montreal Protocol siding with science And Bush 2 who established Marine preserves, taking TR's work into our Oceans.
Bruce Davis September 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM
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