Target: Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett
Goal: Protect the atmosphere and water supply by sealing all leaking gas wells in Pennsylvania
A study led by Cornell University inspected more than 75,000 gas wells in Pennsylvania, and the findings were startling. Many of the inspected gas wells had a leak rate of 1-10 percent, and the scientists involved have no idea if the methane is escaping into the air or into our water. These gas wells need to be promptly sealed, as this could be contributing to climate change and potentially poisoning the state’s water supply.
A team of four scientists inspected 75,000 gas wells throughout Pennsylvania, all of which were constructed after 2000. They found that older wells made in 2009 had a leak rate of one percent. These wells were made by drilling straight down, which is the traditional method of extracting gas from the ground. Newer, nontraditional wells made in the same year had a leak rate of two percent, while the unconventional wells that were made from drilling horizontally had a leak rate of six percent. Some wells reached a leak rate as high as 10 percent, regardless of when they were made, but many were centered in the northeastern part of the state.
Energy companies are calling their findings foul. A spokesperson for the Marcellus Shale Coalition said that the findings have a “clear pattern of playing fast and loose with the facts.” Scientists don’t know the size of these leaks, while industry officials deny their existence. Scientists also don’t know how the spikes in leaks happened, but they assumed it might be from not following regulations and ensuring more thorough inspections, or it is simply a result of how the gas was trapped in rock formations. Whatever the case may be, these findings should make the state pause. Urge the Governor of Pennsylvania to begin an immediate inspection into the conditions of these wells and seal all leaks before too much methane is released into our atmosphere or our water.
Dear Governor Tom Corbett,
A recent study conducted by Cornell University found various leaks in gas wells throughout your state, and scientists fear that these gases could be entering our atmosphere or our water. Although the scientists do not know the size of these leaks, immediate action must be taken to ensure that the general public is not being harmed. While I understand that the energy companies claim these leaks are non-existent, we cannot simply trust their word. Our environment’s well being is at stake, and I am concerned that these companies care more about profits than nature and public health.
These gas wells need to be inspected by the state, and if there are leaks, they need to be immediately sealed before harm comes to our environment and people. Please ensure that this is done quickly and efficiently.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joshua Doubek via Wikimedia Commons