To the Editor:
American oil and natural gas companies claim that sufficient amounts of “unconventional” natural gas can be extracted by safely fracturing trapped gas a couple miles below the earth’s surface. They would achieve this by injecting a chemical cocktail under high pressure needed to release this trapped gas.
In a sharp rebuke of one of the state’s biggest Marcellus Shale gas drillers, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday, September 30, ordered an $11.8 million pipeline built to deliver water to 18 rural residences in Dimock Township whose household wells are contaminated by natural gas. DEP has amassed “overwhelming” evidence the gas wells were poorly constructed and caused massive leakages of natural gas.
Is fracturing the underbelly of America’s fragile crust an acceptable option for trying to achieve energy independence? Are we willing to continue to trust and believe that Big Oil and Natural Gas will always operate safely? Or is it realistically possible that a land-based Deep Water Horizon has just begun in Dimock Township, that will soon spread to other areas served by the Marcellus Shale deposits up and down the East Coast of America?