Thursday, December 09, 2010

P-G: Marcellus Shale talk in Mt. Lebanon draws 100

One of the goals of the Mt. Lebanon Public Library is to provide information so people can make up their own minds about issues, and no topic is hotter in the region than Marcellus Shale gas drilling, said library director Cynthia Richey.

One evening last week, 100 people crowded into a basement room and overflowed into another room to hear a panel discussion about Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful program idea by Cindy Richey...very timely; and, excellent coverage by the P-G.

Upper St. Clair has reportedly developed either a formal policy or
an ordinance governing Marcellus Shale gas drilling there. The subject has not arisen in LEBO public government meetings as yet.

I've heard that some of the the drilling companies like to assemble leases for large tracks of land....a friend of mine up in Butler County has 300 undeveloped acres that were combined with 200 of a neighbors.

Bill Lewis

December 09, 2010 6:18 PM  
Blogger JE Cannon said...

I work for one of the drilling companies in the area. It was nice to see someone in Mt. Lebanon taking an interest in this issue. Cindy Richey should be commended for taking a balanced and educated approach.

It's true that in many areas, even in the South Hills, local governments have addressed mineral extraction, natural gas specifically. But I assure you, a lot of it is for naught.
USC and Peters Township both have an interest in getting it right since they still have large tracts of undeveloped land within their municipal borders. But Lebo has no need to jump in the fray immediately. The simple reality is, with horizontal drilling, the required acreage for a drill site, rights-of-way for pipelines, open space from compressors and traffic concerns make Lebo one of the most unlikely places to ever see drilling take place.

There has been news recently pertaining to restrictive ordinances. Unfortunatley, the recent actions were based on both disinformation and false premises. In South Fayette, a local wanted his 15 minutes of fame and managed to get it by fomenting fear and hysteria. I was in meetings where he publicly stated things that were flat out false. As a result, the township supervisors approved what amounts to a ban on all drilling activity in the township--an act that is clearly illegal under PA state law. The same crusade in Pittsburgh was lead by councilman Doug Shields for purely political reasons. His theatrics and grandstanding fell with thundering silence. Why? Well, as explained to him more than once, nobody has any interest in drilling within city limits for the same reasons as nobody will drill in Lebo--it would be darn near impossible. But that doesn't mean he can circumvent or ignore the law. If someone did want to drill within city limits, and could make it viable, the City would be in trouble.

If anyone in our community has questions about drilling, I'm happy to provide information directly or track down the right person. But I urge everyone to seek out facts, not fall prey to the hysteria and histrionics on display at a lot of public meetings. I may not sway anyone in favor of our industry but I'll certainly provide enough facts so one can make an educated, fact-based and rational decision.

December 10, 2010 11:38 AM  

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