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July 7, 2010

Gas Fracking Affects Cattle in PA

That didn't take long (via ProPublica):

Agriculture officials have quarantined 28 beef cattle on a Pennsylvania farm after wastewater from a nearby gas well leaked into a field and came in contact with the animals.

The state Department of Agriculture said the action was its first livestock quarantine related to pollution from natural gas drilling. Although the quarantine was ordered in May, it was announced Thursday.

A mere taste of what's to come from natural gas fracking, folks. We're setting ourselves up for an environmental disaster of epic proportions -- and much of it a result of an inability to develop rural economies. Folks in upstate New York and central Pennsylvania are desperate for income -- and the gas companies are happy to write checks for mineral rights. But nightmare scenarios abound, and this latest episode give little comfort to those who have to listen to industry assurances of safety.

My hope is that the tactics the energy industry have used to exploit natural resources to great success out West won't work back East where they are operating much close to media and population centers. But betting on the strength of politicians' spines to resist doing the bidding of the energy industry never made anyone any money...

Photo credit: arimoore

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