at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference
Residents, officials must be sure bounty does not become a burden
|The Southern Tier of New York rests on a portion of a vast underground treasure vault that stretches across several states. That's a blessing, especially for those who have land enough to provide a gateway. But the treasure -- natural gas -- is not easily withdrawn, and that's a potential curse.|
The landowners are not the only stakeholders in this "gas rush," which could generate millions of dollars but also will produce ecological and infrastructural stress that will need to be addressed. There's no way to halt the stampede at this point, but there are issues which state and local governments need to address, and soon.
The federal government should be a natural ally in this endeavor, but Congress has granted the oil and gas industries sweeping exemptions from federal regulations including the Safe Drinking Water Act; Clean Water Act; Clean Air Act; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act; National Environmental Policy Act and Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
That doesn't mean the gas drilling companies are or will be negligent, but it does mean state and local watchdogs -- most especially the state Department of Environmental Conservation -- must be vigilant and rigorous in protecting the public and the environment. Local municipalities, meanwhile, must make sure the exploration companies provide bonds sufficient to cover road damage likely to be caused by increased traffic by heavy trucks to well sites.
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posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 6:37 AM - permanent link
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