Philadelphia as East Coast energy hub: What about the environment, health and safety?

Article originally published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on December 15, 2014

Since the publication of my article Dec. 8 titled “Philadelphia’s incredible potential to become the East Coast energy hub,” I have received a number of comments from readers concerning the adverse impact of Marcellus shale drilling, fracking, rail transport and refining/processing on our environment, health and safety. I appreciate these comments and thank the readers who have taken the time to write them. The comments generate conversation which is part of the process to establish public policy and adopt laws and regulations that balance risk vs. benefit not only for the energy industry, but every aspect of modern society.

In that article, I outlined the very significant benefits of increased supply of domestic oil and natural gas for the residents of the Philadelphia region and the country. The decline in the cost of gasoline over the past two months is a direct result of higher oil production. The cost to heat one’s home has significantly declined over the past few years due to the production of Marcellus shale natural gas. New electric generation plants that will be powered by natural gas instead of coal or oil will result in significantly less greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt of electricity generated. Lower energy costs will attract manufacturing back to the U.S., resulting in more jobs. The U.S. will be energy independent by the end of the decade, which will have a very significant favorable impact on the balance of trade and economic growth.

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