Methane’s damage

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I appreciated the Forum piece on methane emissions (“Mitigate the Methane,” May 18). It’s clear that natural gas drilling is accelerating in southwestern Pennsylvania. Drilling will soon begin under Allegheny County parks, joining thousands of projects already underway in Washington County parks and private property statewide. Pennsylvania is fortunate to have the economic boon brought by developing the gas from the Marcellus Shale reserves, but this development needs to be properly regulated to benefit all of us.

As the writers of the Forum commentary point out, methane currently leaks into the atmosphere at well sites and along the supply chain. When released uncontrolled into the atmosphere, methane is a greenhouse gas far more damaging than carbon dioxide. If the technology exists to efficiently and economically capture methane emissions instead of wasting them, what are we waiting for?

We can all agree: Capturing and controlling methane is good for the environment and industry. If Colorado, Ohio and even Wyoming have such regulations in place, surely we can muster the political will in Harrisburg to work with drilling companies and make cleaner air a win-win for a healthier economy as well as healthier lungs in Pennsylvania.

Mt. Lebanon

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