What A Gas! Reed Needs To Represent All People

To the Reader’s Forum,

The Congressional Natural Gas Caucus, of which Tom Reed is co-chair, “focuses on educating other Members, staff and the public…” on natural gas development. The literature on the caucus seems to emphasize only the benefits but any accurate and complete analysis must also include the costs. How can the caucus educate “Members, staff, and the public” if the many costs of gas development are ignored? The public does benefit from natural gas but most of the benefits accrue to the gas industry. The externalized costs are born solely by the public.

For example, Duke University just released a study showing there were 6,648 spills of toxic wastewater in four states over a 10-year period. It estimated that “each year, 2 to 16 percent of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells spill hydrocarbons, chemical-laden water, hydraulic fracturing fluids and other substances.” This means that hundreds of wells in our neighboring state of Pennsylvania will leak toxic fluids this year.

Since Congress supposedly represents all of the people the caucus, if it were to do a thorough job, should also “educate Members and the public” on these very negative aspects of natural gas development. It is time that Mr. Reed represents all of the people and not just extractive industries.

Tom Meara