The Times West Virginian

Opinion

October 15, 2013

Cooperation on fracking offers model for Washington

Some opponents of and proponents for fracking are putting aside their differences and working together to accomplish mutual objectives.

The Associated Press reported that opponents of drilling in Pennsylvania have joined forces with the industry to work on improved air-quality standards.

“Tunnel vision isn’t good,” said Victoria Switzer, a noted Pennsylvania activist in the fight against fracking. “Realism is good.”

Certainly, the fight against fracking is not positive to anyone. Hydraulic fracturing is a process used by gas and oil drillers that pumps fracking fluid — mostly water with some chemicals and sand — deep into shale formations to fracture the rock and allow for oil and gas to be extracted, where it ultimately is used as a home heating and industrial fuel.

The development of this process more than a dozen years ago has stimulated the drilling industry, particularly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Huge reserves of natural gas that were once thought untappable are now economically retrievable, reviving both the energy and manufacturing industries in the United States.

It only makes sense. Americans aren’t using any less energy every year and that energy needs to be produced somewhere. Many concerned about the environment point to renewable sources as an alternative. Yet reliable projections show that renewables cannot realistically or economically provide a significant amount America’s energy mix.

The fracking boom allows natural gas and oil to be produced here in the United States instead of imported from half a world away. That means the dollars paid are spent in America, spent on American labor, with royalties going to landowners here.

Sure, there is a cost of this fracking boom. That’s what caused former fracking opponent Switzer to co-found an organization — Breathe Easy Susquehanna County — that seeks to persuade companies to use advanced technologies to limit emissions. The group has won plaudits for its non-confrontation style, the AP reported.

“You have to sit down and not be the enemy,” Switzer said.

Another collaborative group representing diverse interests is the Center for Sustainable Development. Their work shows that former opponents can come together and work toward mutual goals.

 Perhaps those former adversaries can take a field trip to Washington D.C. and give a primer to the president and leaders of each house of Congress.

— Charleston Daily Mail

This editorial does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Times West Virginian editorial board.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

  • Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past

    Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
    The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
    Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.

    July 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: Who would leave animal in sweltering car?

    I was standing and debating between two brands of a product in a big box store when I heard a call over the intercom:
    “Will the owner of a green Cavalier with a dog inside please report to the lawn and garden center.”
    I shook my head. I hate seeing dogs in cars waiting while their owners shop. About five minutes later, there was another announcement over the intercom.

    July 13, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads