Clearfield County, Pennsylvania and the Gulf of Mexico don t seem to have much in common. Different landscapes, environments, communities. But now these far-flung locations are linked by accidents that the oil and gas industry insists are unlikely to happen, and the failure of blowout preventers it considers an adequate safeguard.
Here's another certainty regarding the energy industry: without adequate oversight, well-funded enforcement, and elimination of cozy relationships, it will successfully push the true cost of energy extraction's environmental risk onto communities who will pay the price of polluted land, property, drinking water, and health.
Propublica's Abrahm Lustgarten reports that Pennsylvania residents are suing Cabot Oil and Gas -- the company responsible for multiple spills associated with their Marcellus Shale drilling near Dimock, PA. They seek to stop future drilling and to establish a trust fund to cover medical expenses for those harmed by Cabot's operations.
While the natural gas industry maintains that stronger regulations aren't needed, its track record continues to prove otherwise.