Cumberland Times-News

January 25, 2013

Gas drilling could cause tourist businesses to fail


Cumberland Times-News

— I am writing in response to the editorial “Gas drilling: Permits canceled, but state should continue study” (Jan. 24 Times-News), in particular, three statements.

I was shocked to read that shale fracking is now a “moot point.” You must be kidding! This is only a delay. There is no guarantee these permits will not be re-energized, along with many more, at any time.

If we advertise it is now “moot,” we should be clear that this is a “temporary mootness.” Otherwise there’s a good chance of us being caught with our pants down. There’s always been a good chance of that ... at an extremely high price.

It is also stated that environmentalists have been wary of shale drilling. That is true, but it is a bit misleading for there are many other groups and individuals quite concerned about the sure-to-happen terrible effects.

For example, dozens of small business owners are very afraid of the economic impacts. Should drilling come to our area— an area that depends on its beauty and cleanliness to sustain itself with the tourism industry — well, we can just forget about any sustained tourism.

I predict dozens of business collapses and an economic catastrophe. The areas where drilling has taken place do not depend on tourism as a major economic factor.

I’m not so sure there has been any “economic boon” where this type fracking has taken place at all. It is just too difficult to put a price on scenic beauty and clean water.

I’m of the mind that if this valuation was possible, the high cost of the loss of these, plus much more, would greatly offset any temporary increase. And yes, temporary.

 Linda Herdering

Accident