That’s right, Pennsylvania residents: your legislature just approved legislation that will pretty much remove all regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in your state. Start filling your water jugs now!
State and local lawmakers in Pennsylvania have been trying to agree on how to regulate the development of the Marcellus Shale, a giant gas deposit under a large swath of Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio. In Pennsylvania, the industry is booming, and those who support the bill say it is high time to streamline government’s approach to it.
Seemingly, modest tax revenue in exchange for massive pollution was the “streamlined approach.” As with any legislation that promises environmental devastation in exchange for cash, there are supporters and detractors. Supporters of the legislation claim that the limitations on the industry’s presence near occupied buildings is a solid environmental control; detractors claim that the legislation leaves local governments toothless in the face of ravenous mining interests, and that the “law limits it in densely populated urban areas, but not in suburban spaces,” which probably means that little Timmy is going to fall into a vein in the earth, not a well.
No matter what happens, residents of Pennsylvania are now in for some hot, pressurized fluid on rock layer action.