The editorial "Buying good publicity" (Saturday) states that, "The greatest safety concerns from Marcellus Shale drilling stem from the impact on drinking water by the use of a water-and-chemical mix to break through to gas formations thousands of feet underground." However, your readers should understand that fracturing fluids are 99.5 percent water and sand, with a fraction of additives used to reduce friction in the well bore and to kill bacteria (all components are listed on the state Department of Environmental Protection's website). These fluids have never impacted groundwater, a fact that has been confirmed by DEP Secretary John Hanger.
The shale-gas industry - which, according to experts at Penn State, will have helped create 88,000 jobs in the commonwealth by year's end - is committed to responsibly ensuring that we maximize the economic, energy security, and environmental benefits of the Marcellus Shale for all Pennsylvanians. We are devoted to getting this opportunity right. Our industry is taking commonsense steps to ensure that groundwater is protected and that responsible Marcellus development will continue to help put tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians to work. At the same time, our industry's work is generating much-needed revenues for our cash-strapped state government, as well as for local municipalities, while also directing our nation on a path toward a more secure, cleaner energy future.
Kathryn Z. Klaber
President & Executive Director
Marcellus Shale Coalition