Appalachian Basin

Reason Prevails

Our Damascus friend and neighbor, Mike Uretsky, a semi-retired NYU faculty member and member of the Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance (NWPOA) has put out a marvelous piece that deserves all our attention.  It demonstrates a sense of reason one just doesn’t find on the other side.  Mike, unlike so many who retired to the region from the metro areas, did not come here with a view to substitute his conscience for those of the residents.  Rather, he listened and learned and has, in turn, imparted a lot of wisdom on the subject of natural gas development.  His recent Allentown Morning Call op-ed following the well control incident in Bradford County demonstrates exactly what I mean.

Pennsylvania’s DEP oversees some of the most stringent natural gas regulations in the country. Pennsylvania oil and gas exploration is strictly regulated under a string of laws, including Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act, the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act, the Oil and Gas Conservation Law, the Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, the Solid Waste Management Act and the Water Resources Planning Act. With such a long list, it would be hard to defend claims that regulation of natural gas production here is insufficient.

The United States needs as much energy as it can produce, and the sooner it’s produced the better. Energy demand is not slowing. Over the next 20 years, the world’s population will be climbing toward 8 billion people. More and more, people will be seeking a higher standard of living. They will be powering, heating and fueling their homes, their businesses, transportation systems and endless pieces of technology.

The realization and acceptance that we need as much energy — and natural gas in particular — as we can produce is not a partisan issue…

We need to continue to embrace the natural gas under our feet — and develop it responsibly. We are too starved for energy not to…

While some activists seized the opportunity to toss out extreme and outrageous claims, regulators and experts focused on mitigating the impact of the LeRoy Township spill and taking steps to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. Moreover, Pennsylvania officials have been working tirelessly to increase enforcement and put tough standards for well construction and treatment of surface water in place. These efforts are strengthening environmental protection, and are important for our community…

“Getting it right” with the Marcellus Shale means responsibly exploring our vast resources wisely and safely. We must continue to develop the Marcellus, learn from the process and explore other shale fields yet to be fully analyzed. In doing so, we ensure that future Pennsylvanians will follow in the footsteps of past generations to become the energy pioneers of the future.


Mike Uretsky

It would be hard to lay out a more reasoned approach than the one Mike has put forward.  It says a lot about who we are and why we cannot rest until natural gas development is a reality throughout all of our region.  We don’t want just any form of it – it must be accomplished responsibly – but folks like Josh Fox and his myriad radical cohorts, who perpetuate the myth we must give up all fossil fuels immediately, just don’t cut it when compared to what Mike has to say or even what the Environmental Defense Fund says in this video.
Elevation of the discussion to a matter of “how can we do this correctly” is the first sign that reason is starting to prevail.  I’m pleased to see it and we need a lot more of this.  The Energy In Depth Northeast Marcellus Initiative will be working hard to get this perspective out there while also challenging the demagoguery of those who oppose natural gas development without any alternatives or solutions of their own.  Please join us in that effort by signing up here.
Thank you, Mike!
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