- State News
- Gas Industry
Advocating for a Middle Ground in Natural Gas Industry
By Douglas Berkley Jr.
June 25, 2012
I have been pleased to see articles on the natural gas industry and have taken notes on efforts by people to educate themselves on the industry, attend local meetings and more. Many of the steps they are taking are easily duplicated by others looking to learn the facts on the natural gas industry.
The desire to become informed and see both sides of the natural gas debate is sadly lacking in many instances. As an employee of the industry, far too often I see people and institutions from both sides of the debate spreading information that is knowingly false. This quest to “win over” public opinion at what seems like any cost ends up hurting both sides in the end. Both pro and anti-fracing gas industry groups have created an air of mistrust and hyper-sensitivity. If I say anything in support of the industry in which I work, I become a “corporate man” for the gas industry. If I agree on the need to perhaps add rules and regulations to be positive we are safely accessing the natural gas and resources we have here in our home state(s), I become a rigid environmentalist. There really is no in-between at this point in time it seems.
This needs to change and there are some of us are here advocating for a middle ground. The bottom line is that we are all standing on a tremendous resource that would allow us to become more energy independent as a country, realize thousands of well-paying job opportunities and allow us to see an influx of capital and investment that has been absent from many of our areas for a long time. Are there risks? Perhaps, there are some inherent risks with all forms of energy production. But many of us in the industry both work and live in these areas and the last thing we want to see is for something bad to happen to our homes and families. We believe the whole process can be done in a very safe manner and we watch how it’s done on a daily basis, making sure our families are protected and we are all doing the “right thing.”
The one thing I ask is for people to become informed and make their own decisions about the natural gas industry, as some people are doing so well. Don’t be swayed by one side or the other in one piece that you may see on the news or read in the paper. Spend a little time researching the industry as whole, as this process will be playing out for many years to come. Do not let others make that choice for you, it’s too important.
Douglas Berkley Jr.
Somerset, PA. 15501