Wow, I must have been too busy last week to notice the email I received from American Rivers that announced the "Most Endangered Rivers of 2011." I received another email today urging me to take action to help protect our rivers. I was shocked to see that the Susquehanna River that flows through New York State, Pennsylvania, and Maryland was rated #1 for 2011. But with the threats to water throughout the Marcellus Shale formation from natural gas extracting, it really shouldn't be that big of a surprise.
The Susquehanna River is no stranger to me. I have lived near its shores in both Plattsburgh, NY and Binghamton, NY, back in the late 70's to mid 80's. But of a greater concern is that my folks live on the Isle of Que in Selinsgrove, PA. They moved there 30 years ago. It lies just off shore in the Susquehanna River. In addition, I have a sister who lives with her family on the Isle of Que and my younger brother and his family live in Selinsgrove, too. So this hits home for me.
As I stated in my previous blog post on Hydro-fracking, this method of energy production comes with considerable costs. It wastes and contaminates large amounts of water, and numerous cases of leaks and ground water contamination illustrate the risks to environment and the health of people living in the vicinity of extraction sites. That the gas companies use the mask of "proprietary information" to preclude themselves from disclosing the chemicals that are used in the fracking process is disconcerting, at the very best.
A glimmer of hope may be on the horizon as the Wall Street Journal reported in today's edition that:
"On Wednesday, shareholders at three gas producers, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., will vote on whether the companies should provide more information about the risk of air and water pollution, lawsuits and possible harm to their reputations from an increasingly widespread drilling practice."
I unfortunately couldn't access the entire article because I am not a subscriber but if you subscribe, you can read more here.
As the truth becomes more apparent to the risks of hydro-fracking and the eventual costs to stockholders is considered, we can only hope that the voices of reason will be able to help stockholders realize that the risks, and expense, outweigh the benefits they may be currently enjoying.
We can only hope.