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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Frack Off?

Hmmmm.....it appears that the Avonworth Municiple Authority approved gas drilling in my local park. This, after a single driller issued what amounted to a "take-it-or-leave-it-you-have-one-day-to-decide ultimatum. Now as far as I'm concerned, the proper response to an ultimatum is "bite me." Personally, I don't think that drilling in a fairly small community park is a good idea, but it merits study. The land and the gas aren't going anywhere. If gas extraction can be done safely, without adverse effects on the park, the stream that runs through it, and the neighbors, it might be a good idea. If however, we wind up with a gas well in the middle of the outfield, a polluted creek, and declining property values, its probably not a wise use of a community resource. There are questions as well. Will the gas be stored on site, for truck pickup? Will a pipeline be constructed to take the gas to a collection site? How many wells are we talking about? What kind of royalties can the taxpayers expect? How will the governor's gas friendly policies impact the municipalties' efforts to get the best possible deal? Guess I'll be at my borough council meeting tonight, urging rejection of this plan until further study can be done. UPDATE: Well, went to the council meeting, said my piece, along with about a dozen other borough residents, and the council unanimously rejected the lease, effectively killing the proposal. I spend a lot of time on this blog ranting about national and state politics, but it really is at the local level where the individual can make a difference. I'm not trying to imply that my voice alone led council to its decision, but when a group of residents appears before their local elected officials and all are in agreement that something sounds like a bad idea, those officials have a greater tendency to listen.

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