Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another fracking law

There's a post from environmental reporter Ken Ward in the Sustained Outrage blog at the Charleston Gazette this morning, mostly consisting of an Associated Press report on yet another law being drafted to regulate gas drilling in the Marcellus shale, this time by a subcommittee in the WV House of Delegates.

Predictably enough, the industry is howling about the fees being proposed for well drilling, which are significantly higher than the $600 "shallow well" fee they have been paying. As usual, industry concern is for that eternal victim, "small business." The victory that environmentalists won in the last legislative session, that prevented gas wells from being considered "shallow wells" for purposes of regulation, is paying off for the public now.

But once again, the legislature will be the target of tremendous pressure from industry as this bill moves through the process. The public must be vigilant, if we want to preserve our water from the prospect of catastrophic blunder by an under-regulated industry blinded by the potential for profit in the new "gold rush" of the Marcellus shale.

Here's the Gazette link:

--Michael Hasty

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