I was awestruck by the May 16th Times Observer headline article "NY report looks to Pa. on gas regulations" about the University of Buffalo Shale Resources and Society Institute findings on Pennsylvania hydrofracking in the past few years. It begged a more rational comparison and much different perspective in my mind.
If a hospital was known for having 3 out of 4 surgeries resulting in problems or procedural violations, would you go there for health care? The University of Buffalo Shale Resources and Society Institute found 3000 violations of the 4000 gas wells drilled from 2008-present in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth.
If a school district had been cited for violations to the school code of which 68% were administrative infractions would you want your children to attend that system and would you expect the principals to keep their jobs? According to the NY report, of those 3000 Marcellus drilling violations 68% were administrative.
If a road construction crew had environmental safety violations amounting to 25 out of 845 events being major would you want your tax dollars going to those road repairs? 25 major events occurred in PA in which there were "restoration failures, serious contamination of water supplies, major land spills, blowouts, & venting & gas migration." Seems that I read of at least one death in the past year in our state as well. Is this acceptable?
If a contractor had 58% of jobs with code/safety violations in a year and then 3 years later only 26% of jobs had breaches in regulations would you relent and allow this person to do a building project for you? This is how the University of Buffalo Shale Resources and Society Institute interpreted success or "improved operations".
If ten post offices lose 100 letters a year and then build more offices and the deadletters triple will you stick with snail mail or switch to email? The UB study states from the article that "as more wells are drilled, the number of environmental incidents increases."This isn't acceptable to my way of thinking. I'd say look at the reason for the problem and make major policy and regulatory changes to guarantee the safety and security of the citizens of the state.
NY is taking time to do due diligence before enacting laws. Those researching must be scrutinized for conflicts of interest.
If the article's conclusion is that the 25 major incidents in PA could have been avoided or mitigated by the proposed NY regulatory language, we need to convey this to Scarnati and Rapp. We in Pennsylvania must avoid the pitfall of saying let the energy companies police and regulate themselves.