If natural gas is plentiful, why am I paying more?

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I read "Superstar of Natural Gas" by Michael Krancer and Patrick Henderson (Oct. 29 Perspectives) right after I opened my monthly bill from the gas company, which fuels our apartment building's heat. The bill included an announcement for a rate increase in November.

I love Pennsylvania, especially my family's home in clean, rural, peaceful northcentral Pennsylvania where I've been planning to start a family farm in a few years and begin homesteading. My partner and I plan to provide our own energy using anaerobic digestion to produce natural gas and incorporate wind and solar. But what if we build our home, our farm, and the water aquifer is contaminated by nearby extraction, as has already happened in other parts of Pennsylvania and the United States? You can't run a farm without clean water.

I can't imagine leaving the family homestead ... but is Pennsylvania where I really want to live and establish the rest of my life if it's going to become the "energy center of the world"? Should I move out of the "shale zone" and leave my family, who plan to never leave, come "hell or bad water"?

It's the hardest decision of my life.

Meanwhile, I have to depend on "big natural gas" at the apartment. Why am I paying more for gas while others claim the shale gas revolution is making it more affordable? Was the affordability only temporary? I ask in curiosity, not complaint, for I willingly expect to pay the full cost for the energy I consume.

Managing Editor
Mount Pleasant

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