5 Reasons Natural Gas Won’t Be an Environmental and Economic Savior
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The resulting road damage will cost tens of millions of dollars to fix and is catching officials from Pennsylvania to Texas off guard. Measures to ensure that roads are repaired don’t capture the full cost of damage, potentially leaving taxpayers with the bill, according to Lynne Irwin, director of Cornell University’s local roads program in Ithaca, New York.
... Last month, [Texas’] Transportation Commission approved $40 million to repair roads near the Barnett Shale in North Texas and the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas.
5. Economic Fallout
So much for the economic boom that fracking was suppose to create for small towns. The road repairs are just the start. In one of the most heavily drilled counties in the Marcellus Shale, a hospital CEO in Pennsylvania is now blaming the gas drilling industry for an operating loss. The AP reported:
Jersey Shore Hospital president and CEO Carey Plummer told the Sun-Gazette of Williamsport that many subcontractors attracted to the area’s Marcellus Shale drilling boom do not cover employees.
That has brought a growing number of uninsured people to the community-owned, nonprofit hospital, Plummer said.
“We had a loss,” Plummer said. “I don’t think it’s a sign of the economy. I think it’s the influx of the gas, industry and those who lack insurance.”
Homeowners may also stand to lose. The Huffington Post reported, “Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. has become the first major insurance company to say it won't cover damage related to a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground.” The company released a memo that said:
After months of research and discussion, we have determined that the exposures presented by hydraulic fracturing are too great to ignore. Risks involved with hydraulic fracturing are now prohibited for General Liability, Commercial Auto, Motor Truck Cargo, Auto Physical Damage and Public Auto (insurance) coverage.
While the fracking industry promises to create jobs, those like Tish O’Dell, co-founder of the Cleveland-area group Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhoods, wonder about what jobs will be lost from impacts to farming, tourism and dairies. She told Midwest Energy News, “If you were going to do a really serious study you would look at these things,” she said. “If water is contaminated and fish die, what are the fishermen going to do? If you have parks where people go for peace and quiet, what happens when you turn it into an industrial landscape? If you have an organic dairy and the soil is polluted, what does that mean? These are all valid questions.”