Local Citizens Concerned About Gas Drilling Impact

Environmental activist says next generation will pay

Photo by Curt Weinhold

From Monthly Roundup – A Natural Gas Task Force newsletter

About two dozen people turned out for a meeting in Coudersport to hear a cautionary message from a respected professor and air their own concerns about the impact of Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling on Potter County’s environment and way of life.

Les Rolfe, an environmental activist who first came to the forefront in March as a protester at the Potter, Cameron and McKean Counties’ Natural Gas Business Expo, organized the gathering. The roundtable discussion was preceded by the airing of a 70-minute video featuring Dr. Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell University, an expert on rock fracturing and related subjects. Although those attending the session did not emerge with any concrete plans to reconvene, there was support for formation of a local citizens’ group to advocate for environmental stewardship.

“This is about protecting the earth,” Rolfe emphasized. “It’s not about making fast money and just living for today. Somebody has to be looking out for our children and our grandchildren. If we do this wrong, and that’s the way things are heading, they’re the ones who are going to have to pay the price.”

Potter County Commissioner Paul Heimel encouraged citizens to educate themselves on the complexities of many issues, to attend meetings of the county’s Natural Gas Task Force, and to stay informed of Marcellus Shale developments through the county’s website, pottercountypa.net. (Photo by Curt Weinhold)

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