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Hydraulic Fracturing – A Godsend to Some, A Curse for Others | cialis online

Hydraulic Fracturing – A Godsend to Some, A Curse for Others

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Is drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale a boom or a bust? Well that depends on who you talk to. For some, it’s meant jobs and new business, and some landowners have even become millionaires overnight. But others say hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale is hurting the environment.

Take the town of Towanda, Pennsylvania, for example. According to CNN, hotel occupancies have skyrocketed, and landlords have been able to increase rents as drilling companies, many based in Texas, send personnel to work in the state. In an era of high unemployment, locals working for the drillers as laborers get $14 an hour, and backhoe and bulldozer operators earn $18 or more. Everyone has full benefits and gets overtime. In some parts of Pennsylvania, landowners who have signed leases with as drillers have received as much as $900,000 up, plus a 20 percent cut of the revenue of the natural gas extracted from their land.

But Pennsylvania has also seen the other side of hydraulic fracturing. These include fracking fluid spills that have killed fish in streams and put livestock at risk. In other instances, the steel casing that lines the well holes has failed, allowing natural gas and other chemicals to penetrate the drinking water. In September, for example, Pennsylvania environmental officials ordered Chesapeake Energy Corp. to inspect the well casings of 171 natural-gas wells in the state after methane was found to be leaking from six wells in Bradford County. In northern Pennsylvania counties of Susquehanna and Bradford, several families have filed suit against drillers, claiming fracking has ruined their water wells.

Those kinds of incidents have many pushing for greater regulation of fracking, especially at the federal level. Thanks to the 2005 Energy Act, hydraulic fracturing is exempt from federal regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. As a result, drillers are not required to disclose the chemicals that make up fracking fluids. Among other things, environmentalists are seeking to have the Safe Drinking Water Act exemption lifted.

While gas drillers have supported some additional regulation at the state level, they remain opposed to any federal regulation of the industry.

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