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Fracking update: where do the feds really stand?

Dec 15, 2010 9:44 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Fracking: How it works."][/caption]The Obama administration supports a full study of the effects of gas drilling in the watershed that provides drinking water for Philadelphia and New York City, but it doesn't want to wait until it's finished for drilling to begin... according to a story in yesterday's New York Times. Gen. Peter "Duke" DeLuca of the Army Corps of Engineers outlined the position in a letter written to Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) in late November but only received this week and released on December 14.
Hinchey and local environmentalists want the commission to keep its drilling moratorium until its staff does a "cumulative impacts" study, a process that could take years. Drilling supporters want the commission to move ahead as quickly as possible and dislike that the commission has blocked drilling in eastern Pennsylvania and New York State while drilling continues rapidly in the rest of the region and country. The Delaware River Basin Commission, controlled by the governors of Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and New Jersey along with DeLuca, last week issued proposed regulations which would allow drilling to resume once they are finalized after several hearings during a 90-day comment period. The proposed new regs backoff from earlier, stricter proposals on Marcellus Shale drilling but are still more restrictive than existing rules in the rest of Pennsylvania, according to The Times. Proponents of such drilling see it as both an economic development boon and a means towards a new energy source. New York City and Philadelphia have rallied against drilling out of concern it could contaminate their water supply. Many are also concerned that the immense water needs of the industry could lower river levels and restrict water supplies. The region under which the Marcellus Shale lies reaches into the western Catskills and southern Mohawk Valley.
For the full story click HERE.
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