Source : Pittsburgh Business Times
Activists that wear anti-Marcellus fracing T-shirts have had dozens of opportunities to don their opposition at public hearings in Pittsburgh recently — a sign of the number of legislative issues confronting the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania.
For those keeping tabs, initiatives that may affect Marcellus Shale development have been debated in Pittsburgh City Council, Allegheny County Council, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Congress and a smattering of municipal boards in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The hearings to discuss these have followed a similar pattern.
Industry advocates say natural gas extraction creates jobs and produces a clean-burning fuel and that the hydraulic fracturing process, which injects a high-pressure stream of water, sand and chemicals to break up the rock and release the gas, has never been proven to contaminate water supplies.
Opponents — some are landowners with gas leases, others are fearful of planned drilling activity around them — list well-publicized incidents of dirty-looking well water, farm animals falling sick and human skin lesions documented by residents with drilling nearby.
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