An alarm bell is ringing about the destruction of state forests by natural gas drilling companies, and we should all pay attention. A flash of cash from drilling is not worth the rape of wildlife areas that we have a moral obligation to protect for future generations.
That warning was issued recently by a top Pennsylvania official with a sworn duty to look out for public forestland.
John Quigley, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (pictured at right), gave a speech over the weekend at Bucknell University, during which he warned that the state has become overly dependent on money it receives by allowing drilling companies to dig wells in state forests.
Cash from drilling in the gas-rich Marcellus shale region “has become the crack cocaine of state government,” Quigley said, according to a report in the (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) Patriot-News. Drilling in state forests “has been used to balance the state budget two years in a row.”