Hesitant No Longer!
I live in Wayne County, Pennsylvania and few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to take a ride on Route 6 through Tunkhannock and Towanda in our neighboring counties. I was very excited because there is a lot of natural gas development going on in that area. I was curious to see if I was driving into complete chaos with all the horrible rumors that are floating around about how destructive and devastating to the environment natural gas exploration is. I expected to see roads that were almost impassible from the large trucks and equipment tearing them up. I expected to see these horrible monstrosities of gas drilling sites. I was shocked at what I did see and what I didn’t see.
As we got into Tunkhannock, my husband pointed out that we had passed several water trucks hauling water to natural gas sites. I hardly noticed them. I was surprised the roads were so good; I thought the trucks would have left the roads a mess. Instead, the roads were some of the best I had seen on our way up. We passed several small diners along the way; all the parking lots were full of pickup trucks and water trucks, and it was readily apparent the diners were benefiting from the gas workers.
We continued up towards Towanda, passing water trucks all the way. We came upon a railroad station with dump trucks picking up fracturing sand from the train that hauled it in. There were plenty of people working to help unload the rail cars and load the dump trucks. I noticed an old Ames department store that had been closed was now the office building for a natural gas company. There had to be 100 trucks in the parking lot – sure seems like a lot of jobs were created.
We finally came upon a completed well pad. It was not at all what I expected to see. I would not have even guessed that is what it was. The only sign of it being a pad was a small fenced in area with a few pipes sticking out. There was an access road to the site and grass was planted. It looked like a nice field. A few miles down the road we saw more natural gas production going on. Where the actual well is being developed there was a big tall rig set up for what I understand is a relatively short period (approximately 3 weeks). Once the well is developed that rig comes down and you are left with only the pad.
I noticed a few other things that day, things such as farmers with brand new tractors. And, newly dug and poured foundations for new homes to be built were also easy to be found. I saw new roofs on houses and additions going up, all things I haven’t seen around here in a while. It seems to me many, many people have truly benefited from all of the natural gas development going on in that area. I am no longer hesitant to see it come to Wayne County. In fact, I cannot wait!