Inquirer Previews Gas Drilling Industry’s Presence In Philadelphia
Yesterday, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Andrew Maykuth wrote a piece about the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s industry convention. While “Shale-gas industry pros – and protesters – will converge in Philly” presents an overview of what can be expected for Shale Gas Insight convention participants, the article also acknowledges the mounting public opposition and the presence of protesters with Shale Gas Outrage:
The coalition’s Shale Gas Insight conference, which will attract Gov. Corbett as well as hundreds of protesters, will tout the effect natural gas has had on lowering utility rates, generating jobs, and improving air quality by displacing coal in power generation.
Maykuth concludes his piece by addressing the industry’s uneasy relationship with the Philadelphia region:
One session that is likely to explore some of the industry’s missteps will focus on public opinion and natural gas in Philadelphia, where some critics say the industry failed to address environmental concerns early on.
“I don’t know if I can say they dropped the ball, but they didn’t pay much attention,” said state Sen. Anthony H. Williams, (D., Phila.), whose wife, Shari Williams, was recently hired by the shale coalition as a communications specialist in Southeast Pennsylvania.
One speaker who is unlikely to lavish the industry with praise is Mayor Nutter, who last year was unable to find time in his schedule to greet the conference. The mayor is scheduled to speak Friday.
Nutter recently wrote to the coalition and called on the industry to agree to fund an early warning system, stream monitoring, and site-restoration bonds before drilling would be allowed to start in the Delaware River Basin, the watershed from which Philadelphia gets much of its drinking water. The Delaware River Basin Commission, a multistate agency, has banned drilling while it considers new regulations.
Said Mark McDonald, Nutter’s spokesman: “There is no economic opportunity that is worth jeopardizing our water quality.”