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Harper: Drill With Care In Marcellus Shale

creekMontgomery County State Representative Kate Harper says drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation, which stretches across Pennsylvania, could be very good for the state’s economy, but she has mixed feelings about the process used to get it out from deep underground. “It’s millions of cubic feet of natural gas, which can be sold and provide jobs for people and gas for industry, so it could be a very good thing.  The problem is the fracking process really can be dangerous for water and the environment, and you have to be very careful about how you extract that gas in order to get the economic benefits of it without getting an environmental problem.”

She says fracking, which uses large amounts of chemically-treated water under high pressure, has a built-in potential for danger.

“It involves depositing millions of gallons of water with chemicals into the earth, blowing the gas out, and then having to dispose of the water.  Now if you re-use the water, and you can’t re-use all of it, that takes some of the problem away.  But if you need to dispose of the water, or if you don’t hold it in a safe place, a leak or a spill could damage waterways, kill fish, and imperil people’s drinking water supply.”

She says Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger has assured her that new rules will protect the water supply, but she’s not so sure about DEP’s enforcement capability.

“I’m a little bit worried that the activity is so great we don’t have enough people employed by the Department of Environmental Protection to make sure that everyone is following the regulations, so we need to have two things.  One, good regulations that protect our drinking water supply from problems in the process and two, we need to have someone watching the process to make sure that the operators are doing it safely.”

Harper says she believes natural gas can be extracted safely, but it must be done very carefully with strict enforcement of the rules.  She says the Delaware River provides drinking water for New York City, Philadelphia and points in between, including the North Penn and North Wales Water Authorities, and that’s one reason behind the opposition to natural gas drilling in Upper Bucks County and other points along the river.
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Public Benefits and Costs. Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
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WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Environmental Sustainability. Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution. "Shop Locally for the Holidays!"
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Competition. A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Product Diversity. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices. "Shop Locally for the Holidays."
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 Tune in tonight at 7:55 PM for WNPV's first broadcast of the year of Gwynedd Mercy University Men's basketball.
WNPV AM 1440 Big sports weekend coming up! Start tonight with Downingtown East at Quakertown high school football at 6:30 PM. Tomorrow, we have Temple at Penn State starting at 10:30 AM (sorry, no "Premium Adjustment" this month! :(), followed by the final NASCAR Nationwide Series race, joined in progress. Sunday, it's the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race with the crowning of this year's Champion, starting at 2 PM. So stay tuned to 1440 AM all weekend ... or listen live online at www.wnpv1440.com.

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