Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Two good stories on Pa fracking and NJ flooding

Here are two stories that you might have missed in the past few days that deserve attention.

natural gas blue flame

In Fracking takes toll in Pennsylvania, but New Jersey gets bargain, The Record's
James M. O'Neil writes:

"The recent boom in natural gas drilling across Pennsylvania has turned some property owners into millionaires. It also has forced some rural communities there to endure swaths of denuded forest, fumes from diesel engines, the rattle of equipment, midnight skies lit up by the lights for well pads, spills of dangerous wastewater, and the leak of explosive methane into their drinking water wells.

"One state away, New Jersey residents have enjoyed significant benefits from the gas being mined from the Marcellus Shale Formation through fracking. With  an abundance of gas on the market, New Jerseyans have seen significant drops in the price of gas to heat their homes and cook their food – price cuts that are likely to continue this winter. And many coal-fired power plants in the Midwest have switched to natural gas, which has improved the air quality downwind in New Jersey."

O'Neil goes on to highlight the benefits and downsides of the fracking boom in both states.

Read the full story here


In Problems with repetitive flooding mean recurring losses for inland New Jersey, NJ Public Radio reporter Scott Gurian creates both an audio and written story (for NJ Spotlight) on a complicated problem that has no easy answers.

It is the repetitive flooding in New Jersey towns far from the shore communities that drew most of the attention in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

This eye-opening paragraph gives you an idea of how big a problem repetitive flooding is:

"Since most homeowners living in these areas are insured through the National Flood Insurance Program, this ends up costing taxpayers, who until now have been forced to subsidize residents to repair houses that continually flood. According to claims data supplied by FEMA, one condominium building in Kearny, for example, has filed 30 separate claims over the past 36 years totaling more than $5.3 million in pay-outs. Another, single-family home in River Vale is listed as having filed 16 flood insurance claims, adding up to $1.3 million, while a home in Pompton Lakes has flooded 20 times over the years."

Read the full story here  

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