The Fracking Landscape: A Tale of Two Pennsylvanias

The Atlantic

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Pennsylvania's fracking frontlines have just been redrawn.

At first glance, the sweeping new law signed this month may seem a good deal for local communities. Over the next 15 years, the state is projected to rake in between $190,000 to $355,000 per gas well; 60 percent of that will go back to counties and municipalities, with the rest going to a state-managed fund for infrastructure projects. Proponents in the Republican-controlled legislature insist that the law levels the playing field for industry, while rewarding counties.

But fracking can be a messy and dangerous business, and locals complain that the law takes control away from citizens who have battled hard for local decision-making.

Watch the video and you'll see a tale of two Pennsylvanias: The first one, recognizable from Josh Fox's documentary Gasland, is Susquehanna county, bordering New York State. It is dotted with wells--the result of minimal local zoning laws. The second Pennsylvania is Dallas Township, where disputes, protests, and citizen engagement have kept most fracking development at bay. For now.



Image: Adron Dell'Osa, an organic farmer about to leave Pennsylvania, taken by James West, Climate Desk



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