Obstructionist PennFuture Rants Again

Yesterday PennFuture demonstrated in Pittsburgh in support of a moratorium on any new drilling on Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale natural gas formation, in an effort to “save the forests.” As usual the activist environmental group exaggerated the threat posed by the exploration and extraction, for the benefit of the always-compliant media that shows up for these mini-dramas. KDKA reported:

With a bit of theater, environmentalists took their message to Gov. Ed Rendell’s Pittsburgh office Tuesday morning. 

They are concerned that the drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale could overtake state owned forestland if it’s not held in check. 

“Half of the state forestland acres that are above the Marcellus Shale formation are already leased for gas drilling and we are concerned about the impacts of that and we don’t know what they are going to be. There are only about four wells right now on state forestland, but the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is projecting that there could be 6,000 wells drilled on the state forestland that has already been leased,” Jan Jarrett said.

Jarrett, PennFuture’s president, painted a misleading picture at best. Only last month the acting secretary of DCNR, John Quigley, testified before a House Democratic Policy Committee that “two-thirds of our state forest remains untouched by gas drilling” (hat-tip to CF’s Katrina Currie). In addition, according to what Currie learned from a DCNR contact, the state does not own the mineral rights for a majority of the Marcellus Shale land and a moratorium would affect only 450,000 acres of the 2.2 million acres of state forest the state owns.

Meanwhile PennFuture aggressively advocates for the development of the type of energy generation in the state they consider “near perfect” — wind — because “it causes no air pollution, no water pollution, and produces no hazardous waste. Wind farms make no contribution to global warming.” I guess they don’t take into account how they make the turbines, how much coal or natural gas power it takes to keep the electricity flowing when the wind fails to blow, or how much oil is required to keep them lubricated. Nor do they account for the massive number of turbines it would require to equal the output of a single natural gas platform.

And why is a windmill any less an eyesore to the pristine landscape than a drilling rig?

Watch this educational video produced by the Institute for Energy Research and learn more about the myths of wind energy. It addresses offshore wind vs. gas as opposed to land-based, but a lot of the same principles apply: