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Why the big rush?

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With the recent and timely revelations concerning the dangers of Marcellus Shale gas drilling and the visual images of crude oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico compliments of a loosely regulated oil industry, my question to our elected officials and to the drilling companies is "What's your hurry?"

The gas locked in this shale formation has been there for millions of years. It's not going anywhere. Other states are not going to tunnel under Pennsylvania and suck it up. These fracking operations need a drilling site above the shale and can only reach gas in an approximately one-square-mile area. The price of natural gas, along with most other fossil fuels, is only going to go up. So again, what is the rush?

The state of New York, which like Pennsylvania faces a budget crisis, has decided in a fit of rationality to put a halt to all drilling until the effects are studied and regulations are in place to protect the environment. It seems that someone in that state took an unusual political stance of putting the people's interest ahead of campaign contributions.

It made sense to someone that pumping hundreds of millions of gallons of fresh water from their water supply, mixing it with chemicals (some cancer-causing poisons), pumping it underground where it becomes hundreds of times saltier than sea water and in some cases radioactive, then returning it to the Delaware watershed that provides drinking water to both New York City and Philadelphia might not be the best idea.

If only a majority of the world's largest fool-time Pennsylvania Legislature could come to a similar conclusion.

KARL SCHLAICH
Lincoln Place

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