Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission Issues Recommendations

no frackingAs mentioned yesterday by MDN, the self-appointed Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission—a group made up of liberal and left-leaning environmental and labor groups including the Sierra Club of PA, Penn Environment, Keystone Progress, Clean Water Action and the League of Women Voters—has released a list of recommendations for regulating shale gas drilling in the state. A copy of the 89-page report is embedded below.

The Citizens Commission was formed in response to a commission created earlier this year by newly elected Gov. Tom Corbett. Like Corbett’s commission, the Citizens Commission held public hearings across the state, received testimony, and voted on a list of recommendations, creating a final report. Among the report’s recommendations: increase drilling regulations and spend more money enforcing those regulations; expand setback requirements (how close wells can be drilled near waterways, schools, etc.); protect environmentally sensitive areas by banning drilling in those areas; complete a study of the cumulative impact of gas drilling on water, air and human health; force drillers to stop using toxic chemicals in fracking and instead use water and sand only; and institute a new tax on drillers.

The report stops short of demanding a complete ban, a moratorium on drilling, in the state. Because it did not make such a demand, the Delaware Riverkeeper organization which had been one of the main sponsors of the Citizens Commission pulled out just before the final report was issued (see this MDN story).

  • Why is it that any group that promotes clean air and water is automatically tagged with dog whistle labels like “left-leaning” and “liberal?” Does that mean that every individual who philosophically believes that permitting unfettered pollution and gutting EPA’s authority to protect our health and safety is, logically, “right-leaning” and “a rightie?” I’m really tired of the culture wars crap, which is counterproductive. And there is not a single thing wrong, in our democracy, unless one is also opposed to the concept of democracy, with being a “liberal.”  In my end of the state, we are also tired of the abuses heaped on us by the coal industry, and I’m the daughter of a miner, and the utter lack of PADEP oversight. We are understandably skeptical about the behavior of this new industry. After all, Dunkard Creek is still dead, and Consol is still ducking their responsibility for this crime.