Recently I finished two years of a four-year term as a Wilkinsburg council member before moving to Pittsburgh. I understand the frustrations when listening to constituents’ legitimate concerns about unpaved streets, abandoned houses, the need for more police protection, etc., and knowing that your government has limited funds.
However, I hope Allegheny County Council members are not seduced by the all-too-prevalent natural gas/pro-fracking advertisements inundating our media. The message that natural gas (and fracking) is the answer to our energy and economic ills is too good to be true, because it is not true.
I am heartened to see that Councilman John Palmiere is doing his homework (“Range Resources Makes Case for Deer Lakes Park Drilling,” April 24). Fracking uses hundreds of thousands of gallons of clean water daily producing an excessive amount of toxic waste that pollutes our clean waterways and air and by extension contributes to many health problems, from serious respiratory ailments to cancer for those living near the sites.
A green light to fracking in our county parks is penny-wise and pound-foolish. We may get a few million dollars each year for 20 years, but will this same money be even a drop in the bucket to pay for the cleanup, assuming it can even be cleaned up?
Will those landowners enthusiastically signing leases be as enthusiastic when they need to haul clean, safe drinking water onto their properties because their water source has been destroyed by fracking? Given history, the claims that these companies will self-regulate is more than absurd, it’s insulting. What will happen to this land that will most likely be abandoned because few people can afford to pay taxes on a worthless home? Is it sensible to say that fracking should continue because it’s already going on in the area? Let’s not turn a blind eye to documented ways in which fracking has already decreased landowners’ property values.
For the physical and financial health of this region, I hope the county council votes no to drilling under Deer Lakes Park.