Appalachian Basin

Reed Is Right!

The vast majority of the people in attendance at Congressman Tom Reed’s recent town hall meeting in Burdett, New York, were full of emotion and seemed to know few, if any, of the facts, when it comes to the subject of horizontal gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale.  Some have observed that a “trickle” of accusations has led some people in the audience to believe natural gas is more trouble than it is worth.  The reality is that there is a “flood” of evidence showing the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is providing excellent paying jobs and economic stimulus. Reed was entirely correct – natural gas can be done safely and it is in our interest.

Those areas of Pennsylvania where gas drilling is occurring have experienced declining unemployment rates and increasing home prices have.  This is one of the very few areas in the country where this is happening.  It was stated gas companies and people with gas under their land are “winning,” while everyone else is “losing,” but this completely misses the larger points.

The facts are that natural gas prices have fallen from $14 per thousand cubic feet, to less than $4 per thousand cubic feet.  This has enabled the 70% of people in the country who heat their homes and businesses with natural gas to experience a tremendous saving in their energy costs.  This saving can be attributed completely to the gas drilling companies and the landowners in Pennsylvania who leased their mineral rights in the Marcellus Shale formation over the past three years.

When drilling starts in New York next year, New Yorkers will have assurances DEC will have in place the most stringent standards in the country, and that America will become energy independent. This abundance of natural gas will be used to fuel our transportation systems. If I hear the rant about gas drilling killing the tourism industry in New York once more, I may become emotional myself.  The only thing threatening tourism in New York State is escalating gasoline prices and unemployment, which will kill tourism indefinitely.

We have a $14 trillion dollar debt, which is growing each day and is owed mostly to China, which holds trillions of dollars in U.S. Treasury notes.  China is the 800 pound gorilla in the room; we aren’t going to tell them what to do. We need to develop a new energy policy and new industries in this country to get out of this financial mess in which we find ourselves. Developing the natural gas industry in our country is the first step to reach this goal.  Reed was right!


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