Allegheny County is wise to explore a non-surface Marcellus Shale lease at Deer Lakes Park (“Park Gas Offer Includes $3.5 Million Bonus,” Dec. 15).
In Washington County, under the leadership of the Washington County Board of Commissioners, the same natural gas production company, Range Resources, has successfully drilled nearly 40 horizontal shale wells more than a mile beneath the surface of Cross Creek Park, with minimal impacts. To quote the Dec. 17 editorial, the moniker very much has been “drill, carefully, drill” across Washington County.
We encourage you and your readers to visit Cross Creek Park and explore all that Washington County has to offer — nationally recognized employment growth, low taxes, growing economy and thriving tourism, with the largest-producing gas field in America.
At the park, highly productive natural gas wells are mostly unnoticeable — tucked away quietly and by design in hillsides, occupying only about 1 percent of the park’s surface. Cross Creek is unusual, because unlike other parks across the commonwealth and the nation, it is state-of-the-art.
Thanks to the revenue generated by safe, well-regulated shale development, Washington County parks are thriving with new roads, parking areas, docks and playgrounds. Additionally, the county even worked with Range Resources to enhance the park for wildlife development with new food plots and habitat improvement.
No activity is risk-free and there are temporary inconveniences, but we owe it to future generations to responsibly explore for our natural resources that enhance our environment as well as our standard of living. And if Allegheny County does change its mind, we welcome this positive growth and development in Washington County — the Energy Capital of the East.
JEFF M. KOTULA
Washington County Chamber of Commerce