Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fracking (Frakking) Republicans

This NYT article was probably written to demonstrate that it is a myth that Republicans are pro-busines:

As energy companies move to drill in densely populated areas from Pennsylvania to Texas, battles are breaking out over who will have the final say in managing the shale gas boom.

The battle is playing out in Pennsylvania as the Republican-controlled legislature considers bills that would in their current form sharply limit a community’s right to control where gas companies can operate on private property. Critics say the final bill could vastly weaken local zoning powers and give industry the upper hand in exchange for a new tax, which municipalities badly need.
The legislation has struck a nerve in a state where land control has long been considered quintessentially local.

“I’m a conservative Republican, and this goes against all my principles,” said Brian Coppola, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Robinson Township, in Washington County west of Pittsburgh. The pending legislation, he said, “is an enormous land grab on the part of the industry. He added, “Our property rights are being trampled.”        

The brouhaha is over the following:

Local governments argue that drilling is an industrial activity, just like that of a gas station or a cement factory, that should be subject to zoning. Dozens of towns, cities and counties across the country have enacted rules on drilling noise, lighting and the distance from homes and, in some cases, outright bans. In New York State alone, there have been at least 70 such actions.

The flurry of local rules comes as the federal government inches forward on a national study of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, the process used to extract previously inaccessible natural gas from shale deep underground.

Frak, I was familiar with from BSG. But it’s a little funny to see how a simple character difference has carried the word into the mainstream media.

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