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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Some questions about local control of drilling

This webpage contains information on a fight by citizens in the Mars Area School District in Butler County, Pennsylvania against a proposed shale gas well site located about a half mile from not one but two schools. 

It's essential reading. Particularly so given a February, 2014 well explosion and fire in Greene County, PA that required a half-mile safety zone.

Some questions come to mind.

Is it really smart business to site a well so close to schools?  Is it smart public policy to allow it?  Is it wise to take away local officials' ability to have some say in the matter, as Pennsylvania's Act 13 attempted to do? 

And what about the funding decisions that create the need for local school officials to consider leasing public land for drilling in the first place?

This local controversy - at least - illustrates why there are ubiquitous calls for drilling bans and moratoria, the necessity of local control over the placement of this industrial activity, and the danger to companies - and the industry as a whole - that ignore their social license to operate.

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