MY VIEW

Drilling for gas unjust, risky

By NORMAN STARR
Posted 5/17/22

I am writing in response to the bizarre arguments that Betty Sutliff makes in favor of gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.

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MY VIEW

Drilling for gas unjust, risky

Posted

I am writing in response to the bizarre arguments that Betty Sutliff makes in favor of gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.

First, she presents the canard of decreasing reliance on Russian oil and gas. This is a talking point of the oil and gas industry; they use the tragedy of the Ukraine war to further their business interests. The facts are that only 1.5 percent of U.S. oil imports were from Russia in December 2021, and President Biden issued an executive order on March 8, 2022, banning the import of oil, gas and coal from Russia. Imports from Russia are now banned, period. 

Second, she states that representation on the DRBC (Delaware River Basin Commission) should be proportional to the amount of land each state has in the basin. By this bizarre logic, the state of Wyoming, with less than 5 percent of the population of Pennsylvania, would have a congressional delegation over two times as large. Do the Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens believe they represent all of the PA land in the basin and all of the PA population (about six million people) that gets its drinking water from the basin? What would people in the Philadelphia area say to that?

Third, she says that because drilling is allowed in the Susquehanna River Basin (SRB), it is unfair not to allow it in the DRB. How fair was drilling in the SRB to the people of Dimock, PA? It would be truly unfair to risk the drinking water of the 15 million people who get it from the basin for the financial benefit of the few who want to lease their land.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warns that we are on course for a rise in global temperature well beyond the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius set by the Paris Agreement, with no functional plan in place to stop it from happening. The continued burning of fossil fuels is already causing massive species loss and could render most of the planet uninhabitable for our species. Is that fair? If we really want energy independence, we should be building out our renewable infrastructure, and not throwing money down the black hole of gas infrastructure, which will be worthless when the wells run dry in a few years.

Norman Starr lives in Beach Lake, PA.

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