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A Fracking Disaster

Today's DN editorial argues that if Pennsylvania is going to let the energy industry do environmentally risky work on its land, lawmakers should also stop treating the industry with kid gloves. Right now, the gas industry pays no extraction tax here.

Lawmakers have claimed that they don't want to discourage an industry in its infancy. But the major drillers in the state have been in the business for more than 50 years. And the impact such an industry has on the state is so considerable that we shouldn't be coddling these "infants."

The extraction technology involves pumping water, salt and chemicals into shale, fracturing the rock formation (called "fracking") that releases the gas. The potential for these fracking chemicals to contaminate groundwater and aquifers has many environmental advocates and citizens worried about the process and its impact on the health of the state.

Perhaps last month's blowout of a well in Clearfield County will help spur them on. Or perhaps you will:

If you care about this issue, let your representatives know and urge them to tax gas extraction. Rep. George has produced a good primer on the Marcellus shale and hydraulic-fracturing issue:

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