Over the past few years a new and seemingly endless resource has been revealed right below our feet, and now it has become a prominent topic in the media, in communities and in homes throughout the state.
I am of course referring to the natural gas reserves held in the Marcellus Shale formation that can be found in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York State. These natural gas reserves are said to be able to power America for a century.
There is enormous potential for Pennsylvania to benefit from this resource. However, I believe there are many significant risks and questions that we must address NOW. While techniques like hydraulic fracturing, also called “fracking,” are not brand new, the volumes and technologies employed have rapidly expanded and changed, making it all the more important that we examine the possible impacts to our environment and to our residents.
We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves on this issue and take the time to formulate a thoughtful approach that will generate revenue, bring jobs and protect our environment and our health. To begin addressing this I have introduced Senate Bill 1447 calling for a one-year statewide moratorium on all new Marcellus Shale natural gas well drilling in Pennsylvania while a study commission is formed to analyze gas well drilling and make recommendations.
I also recently moderated a virtual tele-town hall event where a panel of individuals connected to the industry was on hand to answer questions, explain procedures and address concerns.
This is only the beginning. It’s a complex issue with many sides, and it will continue to be debated at kitchen tables throughout the commonwealth and in chambers in Harrisburg.
Please join with me in this education process, and I encourage you to visit my website to link to information on Marcellus Shale issues and regulations from the Department of Environmental Protection, view the tele-town hall video and ensure that we identify and implement policies that will allow this industry to grow and ensure benefits back to our residents.
Please take a moment to let me know your opinion on this issue. You can find more information and email me on my website at www.senatorferlo.com, or call my office at 412-621-3006 to learn more. I hope to hear from you.