Saturday, July 10, 2010

O'Meara and Pashinski on gas drilling in Plains

The 121st District State Representative candidates sound off about the proposed gas drilling in Plains Twp.

Republican James O'Meara left this in the comments on my last post and also sent it out as a press release.

I am deeply concerned that an exploratory well may be drilled in Plains Township by Rice Energy, LLC.

The proposed drill site raises a number of questions: Is this site a Coal-Bed Methane extraction site versus a shale extraction site? The northern anthracite field runs under the heart of our valley. What special hazards exist when drilling for gas in regions where extensive coal mining was once practiced? Are there risks of subsidence or methane explosions? What are the risks to nearby residences, hospitals, and schools?

Rice Energy has indicated that if the well is productive they will drill more. Where? Will they continue drilling in Plains, or perhaps elsewhere in the valley?

The recently-passed Pennsylvania budget cut funds to the DEP at a time when we seem to be entering a “Wild West Anything Goes” era in gas exploration. This flashes a big fat yellow warning light that we may not be paying enough attention to the potential risks of this industry.

This is not a Republican or Democrat issue; it goes to the very heart of ensuring public safety and preserving our natural resources. In the case of drilling in Plains or elsewhere in the valley, we need to put the brakes on until we have answers.

James O'Meara, Sr.
Candidate for State Representative
District 121

I have asked incumbent Democratic State Rep Eddie Day Pashinski for a statement but have yet to receive a reply. He was quoted in the Times-Leader

Reacting to news of the drilling permit application, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, said he’s “in favor of economic development and job growth,” but he supports a temporary moratorium on gas drilling in Pennsylvania “until safeguards are in place.”

“There needs to be regulations in place, enough inspectors on the ground, enough state police to monitor and check vehicles and proper water treatment facilities to protect drinking water sources,” Pashinski said.

“We were all very excited when we learned this new industry was coming to Northeastern Pennsylvania. … Their initial presentations were very encouraging. But in light of what happened in Dimock and Clearfield County, I am supporting a temporary moratorium,” he said.


A comment on the TL website:

Dan said...

"THEY CAME FIRST for the people of Western PA, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't from Western PA. THEN THEY CAME for the citizens of Dimock, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't from Dimock. THEN THEY CAME for the the good people of the Back Mountain, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't from the Back Mountain. THEN THEY CAME for my backyard and by that time no one was left to speak up.
The Plains Twp. planning commission and the Commissioners have to give Rice Energy the go ahead. I hope my neighbors will join me in putting up a fight against this.

1 comment:

Renegade said...

My brother, you are in harm's way. WE will be there, at your side, from day #1. Let us know the time and place. I think a commissioner's or township meeting would be a good starting point.