The Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which oversees a huge watershed area that runs from Upstate New York all the way to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, is preemptively and temporarily putting water withdrawals for gas drilling on hold in parts of of the watershed because stream levels are dropping from lack of rain. Below is the full press release with a list of the 36 locations where water withdrawals have been suspended.
As MDN has written before, the real, deep-down motivation for those who oppose drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale is not really about chemical contamination of groundwater, noise, roads and the many other (often legitimate) concerns people have with drilling. At it’s core, this is a fight, a battle, about a philosophy. The philosophy driving opposition to drilling says, in essence, that all fossil fuels are bad, and even though natural gas may burn cleaner than coal and oil and produce less carbon, it still must be opposed because it’s not “sustainable” and if natural gas usage increases, it will delay the marvelous future that awaits us all with solar, wind power and other so-called alternative energy sources.
MDN readers are sometimes skeptical when I point out this philosophical motivation. Need more proof? Take a look at an email just received by MDN from an organization in New York called The Green Umbrella about an upcoming event that will train young people in non-violent civil disobedience so they can attempt to stop Marcellus drilling in New York State. The event page, linked to at the bottom of the email, lists Frack Action and Food & Water Watch as co-sponsors of this civil disobedience training event.
Two activist environmental organizations, Clean Water Action and Three Rivers Waterkeeper, are attempting to make a federal case against the McKeesport (Allegheny County) municipal sewage treatment plant that in the past has accepted hydraulic fracturing wastewater because the plant won’t categorically commit to never accepting fracking wastewater again. Here’s the very confusing setup from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
An interesting bit of information from Range Resources about the productivity of Marcellus Shale gas wells vs. Barnett Shale wells:
The Wellsburg (WV) City Council voted in May of this year to institute a ban on hydraulic fracturing within the City and up to one mile outside of the City. On Tuesday, Council members voted to repeal the two-month old ban:
Pittsburgh, PA enacted an ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing and Marcellus gas drilling some eight months ago. Leading the charge against drilling was city Councilman Doug Shields (Democrat-District 5). Now Mr. Shields is concerned that once he’s gone from office, future city councils may waver in their anti-drilling commitment and may repeal the ban, so he wants to enshrine the ban in the city’s charter: