News in brief
Shale coalition conference, shale gas rally in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Pro- and anti-gas drilling forces will be in Philadelphia next week, at a major conference of the Marcellus Shale Coalition in Philadelphia on Wednesday, September 7 and Thursday, September 8.
At the conference, called “Shale Gas Insight,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and former governors Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell will speak in support of the industry. The event is billed as “a best-in-class conference that will offer abundant opportunities for industry stakeholders to gain insight into techniques to advance best practices and shape public policy.”
The rally, titled “Shale Gas Outrage” is called an effort to protect air, earth and health and will be held on Arch Street between Broad and 13th streets, in front of the Pennsylvania Convention Center on September 7 from noon to 2 p.m. It will be followed by a march. Locally, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability is inviting residents to sign up for the rally. Visit damascuscitizens.org/Regional_Action_Sept-7th_Rally.html.
Tougher fracking standards proposed
ALBANY, NY — New York State Senator Greg Ball (R/C) has proposed legislation that would toughen standards for hydrofracking in the state. The legislation is a response to a trip the senator took through Pennsylvania, about which he said, “I can tell you right now that the pain that I’ve seen here today, and the pain that I experienced first-hand speaking with families and farmers in Pennsylvania, it will be over my dead body before I allow what happened in Pennsylvania to happen here in New York.”
Among the proposals in the bill are mandatory full disclosure of all chemicals and compounds used by drilling companies; mandatory water and soil testing by an official governmental third-party for presence of chemicals used by the fracturing process prior to drilling; a requirement that all fracking companies sign a Presumption of Causation Agreement with the state; mandatory reimbursement to property owners by negligent fracking companies for 150% of the real estate’s market value of property, based on estimates prior to drilling, and 100% of the cost for full remediation of soil and water; and allowing local governments to enact or enforce certain laws and ordinances relating to oil, gas and solution mining(affirmation of home rule).