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CPBJ Extra Blog

Federal fracking study, with driller cooperation, doesn't show pollution

By ,
Brent Burkey
Brent Burkey

Preliminary findings from a federal study on whether chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing make their way up through thousands of feet of rock and into drinking water aquifers has seen none of it.

Good news there.

But I have to say, seeing a study of this kind being undertaken by the federal government with a gas driller's cooperation is even better to hear.

The only way industry, government and other stakeholders in the commonwealth will strike the right balance out West and in the northern tier of Pennsylvania — for prosperity now, and years and years to come — is to first work together to answer the unknown questions objectively.

Does fracking water potentially foul drinking water? People shout "No" and "Yes" at each other, depending on their politics, patronage or other preconceived notions, or understandably so because of maybe a close-to-home but otherwise isolated incident in the early days of the rush.

Call me old fashioned, but I think we should get the facts and evidence in a broad sense before reaching conclusions.

Yes, that takes time, but what worthwhile undertaking doesn't?

Cheers to cooperation and a little more of it to come!

Honestly, we're all on the same side in the end anyway. Environmentalists and conservationists don't want pollution events for obvious reasons, and I think the Gulf Coast spill showed the drilling industry how legal liabilities can soar if problems get out of hand.

Let alone that outside the current polarization over fracking, environmentalists and drillers don't have to be mutually exclusive at all.

P.S. There is a line in the story about how the driller could have been extra careful here because of the study. But even that doesn't worry me. Even if it's true, it still would prove that drilling and protection are possible together.

Brent Burkey covers retail, tourism, and Lebanon and York counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at You can also follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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