Gas Drilling: What Legacy Will We Leave For Next Generations?

From Potter County Today

coolidgeatmeetingPotter County Natural Gas Task Force members were encouraged to stay informed and involved if they want to avoid some of the potentially negative aspects of increased natural gas development. Two speakers from neighboring Tioga County had plenty to say about the topic at Tuesday’s task force meeting.

Tioga County has felt the impact of Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling that is sweeping westward across the northern tier counties. Issues that have arisen there are likely to be seen locally as the industry continues to expand throughout this decade and beyond. Erick Coolidge (left), a fourth-generation dairy farmer in his 16th year as a member of the Tioga County Board of Commissioners, emphasized that the industry’s economic potential is important. “Overall, I have to say, this is good, if we’re able to guide it,” Coolidge told the audience of about 100 people. “It’s going to generate jobs, and income, and economic growth. Those things are very important.”

At the same time, Coolidge warned that a blind pursuit of economic development, at the expense of the environment or the rural way of life, could create a legacy for future generations that will cause them to curse today’s leaders, rather than  honoring and appreciating them. “We live where we live because we love it here, and we have an obligation to protect it.” Local communities need to be prepared for significant impacts on roads, bridges, the criminal justice system, as well as housing availability and pricing, Coolidge said.

He acknowledged that his board had faced flack for its letter to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, urging that agency to prohibit any new use of groundwater to support drilling. The Tioga County Commissioners said there are abundant surface water resources available to support drilling. A copy of the letter is available online.

Additional details on Tuesday night’s meeting will be posted on Potter County Today. The county’s website,, contains a wealth of information about Marcellus Shale natural gas development and related issues.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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