Letter to the editor: In response to article titled “Oil and gas companies explore Northeast Ohio for fracking opportunities”

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation

AU Live published an article detailing the exploratory operations of both Cabot and TransCanada in the north central Ohio area. In the article, the author quoted several members of the community who are vocal about their negative attitude about the oil and natural gas industry.

It is disappointing that the author only interviewed community members who have a negative perspective. If the author had taken the time to speak to landowners in Susquehanna County, where Cabot has been developing and operating for over a decade, they would realize the positive impact that natural gas development brings to communities.

Charlie Clark has owned and managed a farm in Springville, PA since 1984 and has a herd of about 40 cows. Charlie cites the arrival of the natural gas industry as the saving grace for many families in the area, including his own. “We wouldn’t have stayed in it this long had there not been an alternative source of income,” Charlie has said.

Jeff and Donna Williams are lifelong dairy farmers in Susquehanna County, PA. For them, Marcellus Shale natural gas development is a positive for the farm, community and the county. “It’s been a great economic boost to us, my sons have bought some new machinery”, Donna Williams notes.

The article focuses on the environmental concerns of community members. Since the very beginning of the shale revolution the oil and natural gas industry has constantly evolved; keeping safety at the forefront of that evolution. The American Petroleum Institute (API) 2017 Energy and Communities report goes over the industry’s safety standards, emission reductions, responsible developments, commitment to transparency and community engagement citing over 130 different sources.

I encourage residents to do their research and learn about the positive impacts of oil and natural gas development, evident in communities where we currently operate like Susquehanna County, PA. I also urge community members to research the steps the industry takes, outlined in the API report, to protect the environment and the safeguards that are put into place to do so.