Eyewitness: “I cannot begin to describe how devastating it is to witness the wholesale destruction of this once strikingly beautiful state by natural gas firms from both the United States and Canada”


Letter to Edmonton Journal: “Letting gas companies have their way has devastating results”

Edmonton Journal

March 15, 2010

Re: “Natural gas and its ‘Drill, baby, drill’ conundrum,” The Journal, March 8.

I am a central Pennsylvania native who lives in the midst of the Marcellus shale region. I cannot begin to describe how devastating it is to witness the wholesale destruction of this once strikingly beautiful state by natural gas firms from both the United States and Canada. If you are a gas company executive living in Edmonton or Calgary for example, you do not have any ancestral bonds or other firsthand knowledge of this predominantly rural and less wealthy corner of the United States. Instead, your singular goal is to extract the natural gas and, accordingly, reap substantial profits. Meanwhile, massive and permanent environmental damage will be the only legacy of the Marcellus shale drilling left for Pennsylvanians. Although drilling only started less than two years ago, the state’s freshwater supplies (including the Susquehanna River, which flows into Chesapeake Bay) are already being depleted at an alarming rate and the forests and farmlands systematically destroyed. So, whenever energy experts like Peter Tertzakian or anyone else raises the “drill, baby, drill” credo, please remember that whatever economic gains are being derived from retrieving natural gas in the Marcellus shale region via hydraulic fracturing, they are coming at a terrible environmental cost comparable to that of the oil-sands, or perhaps even worse.

Marsha Ann Tate, Pleasant Gap, Penn.