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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Enough Talk; Time For Action

Natural Gas Task Force: ‘Enough Talk; Time For Action’

Potter County Today

aerialgaswellsAfter surveying members of the Natural Gas Task Force and other interested citizens, the Potter County Commissioners plan to develop a strategic action advisory group to coordinate the county’s response to the far-reaching Marcellus Shale natural gas industry. Plans for the panel are still being formulated, the commissioners announced at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the Potter County Natural Gas Task Force.

Survey results showed that respondents appreciate the educational aspects of the task force’s work and want the current format to continue. At the same time, several believe it’s time to develop more specific action plans to take advantage of the natural gas industry’s economic and employment potential and to protect natural resources.

Commissioner Paul Heimel cited one of the survey responses as an example of the comments that led the board to conclude a strategic action team is a good move: “Thank you for the Task Force. Potter County residents are being very well informed. We need to separate out a steering committee that develops tasks and then leave these monthly meetings as information sessions. You can’t accomplish much with a group this big. This is not a criticism of these meetings, because I think they are great!”

Commissioners Heimel, Doug Morley and Susan Kefover will approach prospective members of the action team in the coming weeks. They’re looking for representation from the public, private, educational and environmental sectors, including but not limited to: PennDOT, municipal government, local schools, Redevelopment Authority, Pa. CareerLink, Education Council, Cooperative Extension, watershed management, business/industry, legal/regulatory, state forest management, state legislator representative, and emergency services.

Those surveyed were asked to rank their concerns about the natural gas industry’s affect on Potter County. Results, in descending order, were:

1. Impact on water quality and environment;

2. Impact on township roads, state forests, public infrastructure;

3. Creating jobs for local residents;

4. Economic impact on retail/service sector;

5. Social impact on Potter County communities.

While respondents were generally satisfied with the task force’s focus on those topics, majorities said they believed the group should pay more attending to water quality/environmental issues and impacts on townships and infrastructure.


Anonymous said...

Excellent idea.

Anonymous said...

It's quite simple NO drilling for gas No contamination !!

Anonymous said...

The problem with more regulation,imposing taxes,limiting road usage,higher bonds,more stringent disposal oversite, and higher permit costs,is that everyone forgets that the small, local, shallow gas producers (that have been here forever and hire local people)are being forced to shut down production,curtail exploration,plug wells,and lay off locals.
The bulk of gas produced in this area is still SHALLOW GAS.There is a low profit margin and higher costs are putting these company's out of business.
The new road bonding increase is a good example.Townships are forcing all producers to pay the same rate.The shallow producers haul across these roads only a few times a month.While the Marcellus producers may run 40 or 50 trucks a day.The cost of the bond has been increased to a per mile fee. t That cost is as high as the fee to bond the whole road a year ago.
This is not a one size fits all industry,and the lack of understanding this is costing jobs,as well as royalty and lease money at an alarming rate!

Anonymous said...

That is a good point 11:33. I do not know who you are but I am cutting and pasting your comment into an email to the commissioners and asking them to share it with the township supervisors and this strategy and action team they are putting together.

Anonymous said...

Our elected Township officials have more power than our Commissioners - thank God! If the commissioners get too big for their pants - the supervisors can take charge. commissioners are keepers of purse - which it appears that they like to spend, spend, spend.