SOUTHPOINTE (KDKA) — In the debate over Marcellus Shale, contentious confrontations have become the norm.
Government hearings brim over with finger-pointing and anger.
Those in favor cite economic development and jobs while drilling opponents say the environment is being sold out for big bucks.
“You have communities divided like this all over the country and it’s because you guys aren’t making the right decisions,” Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields said.
Today Katie Klabyr of the industry-sponsored Marcellus Shale Coalition called for calm.
“I think it’s really important to stay focused on the civil discussion,” she said. “Fact-based discussions are always going to win the day.”
Marcellus opponent Myron Arnowitt of Clean Water Action says while he’d like to see a more civil tone — don’t hold your breath.
“I don’t think it’s going happen right now and think part of it is that people are frustrated that nothing has happened,” he said. “The state legislature hasn’t really taken any action on this issue.”
In the middle is Carnegie Mellon professor Kelvin Gregory who says while there are serious concerns and unanswered questions, it appears at this point that with proper oversight and regulations gas drilling can occur without major risks to the environment.
“If both sides would settle down and hear the facts and look for a middle ground, I think that would do a service to everyone in involved,” he said.