Shale gas vs. the environment is a false choice

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Residents across Pittsburgh's seven-county metropolitan area overwhelmingly -- by a margin of nearly 2-to-1 -- support safe natural gas development. Unfortunately, the Post-Gazette article "The Survey Says: Pittsburghers Care for Environment" (Oct. 30) did not fully inform its readers about the clear environmental benefits tied to responsible shale production or Pennsylvania's strong regulatory framework.

While PittsburghTODAY's Doug Heuck states that more than 95 percent of survey respondents said the chemical components of fracking fluids should be made public, your readers should know that Pennsylvania's Act 13 is "one of the most aggressive and transparent hydraulic fracturing disclosure laws in the country," according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Specifically, natural gas producers "must complete a chemical disclosure registry form for publication on FracFocus.org in addition to the reporting required to be submitted to the department," as DEP notes.

As it relates to environmental benefits tied to shale gas -- which supports more than 230,000 Pennsylvania jobs -- the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reported that "Carbon pollution from power plants declines 10 percent from 2010 due to growing use of natural gas." Further, the U.S. Energy Information Administration also reported recently that carbon dioxide emissions are at their lowest level since 1994, due principally to expanded natural gas production and use.

Protecting and enhancing our environment or growing our economy is a false choice. We can, and must, achieve both. PittsburghTODAY's survey states that "More support drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale than oppose it." It's easy to see why.

STEVE FORDE

Vice President

Marcellus Shale Coalition

North Fayette


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