Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Resistance to hydraulic fracturing in gas drilling continues in Marcellus Shale states

As Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania introduced legislation for federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing in natural-gas drilling last week, there was action in other states underlain by the deep, dense, gas-rich Marcellus Shale (map), a prime target of the frackers.

Maryland’s House of Delegates "advanced a plan calling for a two-year study of Marcellus Shale drilling, overriding the objections of Western Maryland lawmakers who want to see the potentially lucrative activity sooner, " writes Julie Bykowicz of the Baltimore Sun. Delegate Maggie McIntosh said "the state needs time to study hydraulic fracturing and that proceeding quickly could prove harmful to Maryland's waterways," Bykowicz reports.
In West Virginia, after the legislature declined to establish new regulations for Marcellus drilling, “Lawmakers and surface-owner groups met to announce the signing of a letter urging Randy Huffman, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, to use his emergency authority to halt the issuance of new horizontal drilling permits in the Marcellus Shale,” reports Taylor Kuykendall of the Register-Herald in Beckley.

Supporters of the moratorium in West Virginia include the Lewisburg City Council, which Peggy Mackenzie of the Mountain Messenger reports “may well be the first municipality in the state to declare the prohibition of locating, drilling, equipping, operating or producing any oil and gas wells within the city limits.” The council approved a resolution expressing “concerns about the lack of protection afforded the state’s water resources, particularly the Greenbrier River watershed, which is the source of water for Lewisburg’s regional system, serving 4,732 customers,” writes Tina Alvey of the Register-Herald.

New York state is enforcing a moratorium on Marcellus drilling until at least July 2011, reports the Associated Press.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

I live in Morgantown, West Virginia and have lobbied in Charleston for closed system fracking to protect our water. However, I can tell you, most people here want more drilling not less and there will be no moratorium. Senate Bill 424 to provide environmental regulation of Marcellus drilling did not pass and it was relatively modest in its aims and requirements. So do not expect a moratorium here. The state wont even stop Mountaintop Removal, longwalling, and strip mining, which are the real destructive forces here.