Voices of Central Pa
Marcellus Realty political cartoon by Shawn Raymond Farce Magazine
I don't think the whole "water on fire", "flaming shower", and "blowtorch in the sink" imagery is wise to use in the fracking debate.
The town with the natural gas in the water did not get that way because of fracking, that was conventional natural gas drilling in the old style. There have not been cases of flaming water related to fracking. The risks of fracking are more subtle and more dangerous and more costly than one town with flaming faucetts.
So, if we use the flaming wtaer argument, we will easily be prven to be hysterical and mistaken - and if we are mistaken about flaming water, we are mistaken about the other risks, the gas corps will argue in the media, courts, and political offices.
We should stick to the real arguments - which are, future risks to the water and land values, the future costs of fracking being unfairly and duplicitously dumped on taxpayers and landowners by fracking corps and politicians, and the bad deal we are getting, dollar wise and Pennsylvania economy wise, for our natural gas.
I grew up on a farm in indiana county. In the lower part of the farm, near a great creek, and in an area where I spent some of the happiest hours of my childhood (it was a boys heaven) there was a mysterious thing - a pool of water that covered an old natural gas well.
In this pool of water - about 4 feet across - something amazing was always happening - streams of bubbles rose to the surface, presumably from the badly sealed wellhead a few feet below the ground. I entertained myself endlessly by lighting the bubbles, which would burn merrily for a few minutes, then, because the gas flow was intermittent, would go out.
At times I could keep the fire burning for several hours - the scary stuff that boys do, lol.
My parents sold that part of the farm to a coal company, and the coal company recapped that well, then built a huge mining complex on top of it all. My boys heaven was gone - but that money paid for my college degree. Tradeoffs for everything. I still wish that place, those lower fields, the creek, the animals, that boys heaven - still existed - but - I'm also glad that not being burdened with college debt allowed me to live a life that most can only dream about, a life free of education debt-peonage.I hope the pileated woodpeckers found new homes a bit further up the complex of valleys and criks that fed that bottom valley, and it's buried coal.