EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
July 1, 2013
On Tuesday, the same day President Obama delivered his Climate Action Plan speech at Georgetown University, the Maryland Departments of the Environment and Natural Resources (MDE/DNR) released their Best Management Practices report for the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative. The comment period extends until August 9. MDE/DNR will host a public meeting July 9 at 7pm in the auditorium of Garrett College. One danger posed by drilling are the externalities the oil and gas industry generates. Externalities involve costs that businesses shift to others not involved in that business- making them external to the businesses’ own operations. Pollution, road construction and maintenance, fire, police, public safety, and public health costs borne by taxpayers exemplify these kinds of externalities. They will overwhelm the economic and environmental abilities of the State to support this heavy industrial activity.
June 21, 2013
On Tuesday, I travelled to Harrisburg, PA to attend a rally co-sponsored by a number of our friends at Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper, Berks Gas Truth, Gas Truth of Central PA, PennEnvironment, and Sierra Club PA. Organizers hosted the rally to bring attention to continued lack of resolution of water contamination cases across the state that may well be linked to gas drilling. Underscoring the need for more information and action is the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) recent statement that it has documented of twenty-five cases of water contamination of private water supplies from natural gas development. But a records request by the Times-Tribune revealed the actual number of cases of contaminated water supplies at 161. And of course, with inadequate oversight and enforcement of the gas industry, it could be higher. Time will tell.