Friday, July 09, 2010

They want to drill in Plains Township

A few months ago I attended a meeting about gas drilling in the back mountain region of Luzerne County. An old friend spotted me and asked why I was there since I didn't live anywhere near the proposed drilling sights. My answer was "Because I drink water."

According to the Citizens Voice it looks like a gas company wants to start drilling about 2 miles from my home near the Geisinger Hospital. The Vo-Tech School is also in the area.

Rice Drilling B LLC, a subsidiary of Rice Energy LLC, applied for a permit with the state Department of Environmental Protection on June 24 to drill and operate a well on Theta's property just east of Interstate 81 and south of Jumper Road, according to the department's website.

I shudder to think what all that fracking below land that was heavily-mined for close to a century is going to do. What roads will the tanker trucks be using to get to the site in Plains? Where will they be getting the water for fracking? Subsidence insurance, anyone?

To my friends who live within the walls of the Wyoming Valley, welcome to NIMBYville.

Connect the dots, folks. Once again, you have been had.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. A crew drilling a natural gas well through an abandoned coal mine in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle hit a pocket of methane gas that ignited, triggering an explosion that burned seven workers, state and company officials said Monday. The blast created a column of flame that was initially at least 70 feet high, but the rig operator said the site was secure and the fire was about 40 feet high by late morning.

This madness has to stop.


Don Williams said...

G: Good post...and good connection to the drilling "incident" in WV in another heavily mined area. I told Markie almost two years ago this was going to get ugly. It appears "ugly" just got a lot closer to home.

Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

If SWB is ever to emerge from the 19th century into the new millenium, it must let go of that past.
Students, the potential for making SWB a boomtown is greater than ever before thanks to the natural gas industry. Accordingly, we have a brilliant opportunity at our door;the question is, are we going to shut the door as we have so many times in the past or are we going to open it up to see prosperity.
Let us be honest, most of the SWB population is, how can I best state this.....most of the population is ill educated. The average SWB citizen's idea of reading a book is to pick up the latest issue of The Enquirer, or at best a Harry Potter book (for the record, Harry Potter is utter garbage, my own preferences lean toward Homer's Ilead or the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire); so we should not bear very much optimism in the name of progress.
Students, we will never progress unless we take a chance. Ask the founding fathers, ask Lewis and Clark, for that matter ask John D. Rockefeller, our first real oil baron.
We will either sink or swim based on our own timidity or lack thereof.
DO we want NEPA to be the next Saudi Arabia or do we want to stay as we are in a world where the only ribbon cuttings are held at newly constructed nursing homes.
And we wonder why we can't attract the best and the brightest.
Class dismissed!!!!

JimboBillyBob said...

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

Mark said...

Come on.

There has got to be plenty of space available in your back yard for a water buffalo.

That's assuming that your back yard doesn't explode anytime soon.

I dunno.

Stephen Albert said...


It was a bunch of ignorant, immigrant coal miners that were taken advantage of for over a hundred years in NEPA during the anthracite mining boom. What was left after the coal barons left? An entire city on stilts, coal seam fires, foul smelling culm banks and rivers (such as the Lackawanna) that are only now starting to return to something that approaches a natural state. The fact that you have some semblance of an organized resistance to "drill baby drill" mantra of the gas companies speaks volumes to how much things have changed for the better.

Uneducated? I'd argue that those who simply want to accept the figurative 30 pieces of silver for blindly betraying our land and water resources are the ones who are truly ignorant and uneducated.

Look, I'm not opposed to all drilling, but I am opposed to allowing the 21st century version of the coal barons to simply repeat the mistakes of the past. Not being able to learn from the past is TRULY a sign of the "uneducated".