What Nightmares Keep Drillers Up at Night? Hint: Not Fines

The ScreamWhat are the nightmares that keep drillers up at night? Is it the prospect of having to pay big fines, like the biggest fine paid to date in Pennsylvania, announced just last week (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). While we’re sure that fine stung, the money paid was more like a bee sting. According to the drillers themselves and their comments, the thing that keeps them up at night is negative publicity. Bad public relations (PR). It’s not the fine itself but public perception about being fined or being in violation. Some of the problem is caused by an unrealistically high standard of zero mistakes and zero screw-ups imposed by those who oppose shale drilling…

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