Politicians propound challenge of gas growth is balancing fact, fiction
Cheryl Clark writes in the Sun-Gazette:
WELLSBORO, PA — As gas drilling protestors staged a vigil outside, state and federal legislators spoke about that hot topic Thursday at the Tioga County Development Corp.'s 14th annual Legislative Breakfast at the Penn Wells Hotel.
The economic future of the area looks bright, compared to what it looked like a year ago when the sagging economy and massive job losses took center stage, agreed U.S. Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Howard, and state Rep. Matthew E. Baker, R-Wellsboro.
Before an audience of 200, Thompson jokingly compared Tioga County to Washington, D.C.
"You've managed to replicate the traffic in Washington, made it impossible to find a motel room and mobilized citizens with placards protesting out front," he said, referring to a group calling themselves "Citizens Concerned About Natural Gas Drilling." Their placards told passing motorists and pedestrians they are against the hydro fracturing process used by the gas industry.
Referring to the Marcellus Shale, Thompson said, "It's right underneath our feet. We are standing on prosperity. We've faced some tough economic times here in rural Pennsylvania, with high unemployment and the tough times it brings, for some time."
With the discovery of the second largest pool of natural gas in the world, enough to provide the energy needs of the nation for the next 100 years, he said, "We can move toward energy security and independence."
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