May 19 2011
The Philadelphia Inquirer has weighed in about the growing battle over drilling water rights and the practice of fracking.
The paper said in a May 19 editorial, “A gold-rush approach to high-pressure drilling for natural gas has no place in Pennsylvania. Especially not in the watershed that quenches the thirst of 15 million people in the Philadelphia region and beyond.
“So, it’s troubling that, despite their own moratorium on drilling in the Delaware River basin, interstate regulators are moving ahead on preliminary requests by some drillers to pull millions of gallons of water from rivers to the north.”
The paper also noted that, in the development of fracking operations, ” it would make more sense for the commission to focus first on determining whether gas drilling can be done safely in the Delaware basin, if at all. The arrival of this industry with its potential boost to the state’s economy has been marred too often by a drill-now, regulate-later mentality. It wasn’t until several years into the gas boom that Harrisburg boosted drilling fees and strengthened safeguards.
“This week, the state’s largest operator – Chesapeake Energy Corp. – agreed to a record $1.1 million fine for contaminating private water supplies in Bradford County, and for a tank fire at a well site in Washington County.”
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