Industrialized forests

There is a lot of concern about the speed of the shale play development in Pennsylvania. In fact, last night I was talking to a man from Renovo who said that the municipality has to spend roughly $10,000 to monitor their drinking water source now and in the future to check against possible contamination by nearby gas wells that are being put it. For a small rural community, every dollar counts. He wondered why the gas company doesn't pay for it if they are creating the jeopardy by creating an industrial wasteland nearby.

Industrial wasteland? That's what some people are seeing. They are watching tracts in the state forests like Sproul and Tioga State Forests turn into industrial parks that strip the trees from the land, disrupt human and non-human animal habitat, and interfere with animal corridors. PennEnvironment has posted short video piece about this featuring retired forester Butch Davey.

Is it really the responsibility of regulators to control this? Is it yours? The gas companies responsibility?

1 comment:

  1. This represents such a dilemma. It comes down to being the responsibility of the people who recognize and understand what is going on, in a way that is respectful of reality. These are the people who will provide meaning to a largely nonsensical milieu. Everyone will seem to have their say, all sides, many voices. Few will be truly helpful, it is simply easier to destroy things and many people who like to get things done are on the side of extraction..

    The energy industry behaves like a bunch of spoiled teenagers or college freshman. We would all like more from them, they promise more, they have the potential, When they do get it together, it is largely for their own benefit, neighbors clean up the mess. Come visit the borough of State College or listen to the This American Life piece about the dynamic of life here. Manfred Max-Neef suggests responsibility needs to start at the university.

    Regulators should do more, but how could they allow this to happen in the first place? That suggests collusion of some kind. It could be collusion by institutional incompetence - blindness. That's too bad, we could use helpful regulators. They will never be as strong as our addiction to energy anyway - and will always be playing catch-up. We proactive regulating bodies first.

    If you love or value something, one way you express that reverence is by taking care of it when perhaps it isn't really your job. The people of the Northern Tier have a real opportunity for personal and communal growth and awareness. Why do the lessons and learning need to come at such costs anymore?