FRACK FACT: An Eye Opening Fracking Tour
By Katy Abram
This January, I joined a bus full of fellow activists, entrepreneurs and businessmen to tour a fracking site on the Marcellus Shale in Washington County, Pennsylvania. I put on my hardhat, fire retardant coat and steel tipped boots to get some frack facts up close and in person.
I know we have to look at the hard facts and data when it comes to making good energy policy, but being at a site and getting that first hand experience is also important. By heading west to the shale, I got to see up close the energy boom in Washington County.
When we arrived on the first drill site there were six brand new pickup trucks bought by the gas company from dealerships in Pennsylvania. The majority of workers on the site were from Pennsylvania. The company who hosted us was one of the first to pioneer the shale. Theyve been working in Pennsylvania for 30 years.
The frack site we were on was actual part of a farm. The local owner had leased his land to the drilling company. I noticed the farmer had what looked like a brand new metal roof on his old house. Roads in town, which were once dirt, had now been paved by the driller and would make any township supervisor weep with joy. You can read all the statistics you want about how the development of the shale is creating an energy boom, but seeing for yourself is quite another. It makes the statistics come alive.
The biggest question everyone asks about fracking is if it is safe. According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is. The head of the EPA told Congress there are no proven cases of water contamination from fracking. We always want our public policy to reflect the continued development of our shale while at the same time have common sense regulations in place to keep our communities safe and prosperous.
To learn more about energy policy and regulations, go to our website: http://www.americansforprosperity.org/energy-environment
This spring, our sister organization, Americans for Prosperity Foundation will be hosting tours of drilling sites within the Marcellus Shale. Stay tuned for more details!
Katy Abram is the Pennsylvania Director of Policy for Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation