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What Contamination?

J. Greg Myers Bellefonte
Centre Daily News
September 21, 2010

History professor John Paul Rossi correctly states in his Sept. 15 column that oil and gas drilling is a dirty and dangerous process. But thankfully, some are willing to leave the classroom and brave the elements to provide natural gas to warm our homes and fuel our factories.

He is incorrect in his accusation that hydraulic fracturing can “badly damage vast stretches of the state’s land and water.” Hydraulic fracturing is occurring in the Marcellus Shale at depths ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 feet, far below the horizons of all aquifers in the state.

Frac fluid is isolated from fresh water horizons by steel casing cemented to the rock and steel tubing. Some frac fluid along with Marcellus formation water is intentionally returned to the surface where it is contained and disposed of in accordance with state Department of Environmental Protection requirements.

With all the accusations from the hypercritical environmental community, there has yet to be a confirmed incident of contamination from hydraulic fracturing.

The responsible development of the Marcellus resources provides unequaled economic opportunity for thousands of Pennsylvanians — economic opportunity that will allow children to attend Penn State, where they can be lectured by a history professor who has become an expert in petroleum and natural gas engineering.