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Guest Column

November 2, 2013

Election choices: what are they, really?


It’s interesting to note that both casinos and brewing need cheap, clean-burning, reliable energy, and both withdraw and discharge large volumes of water.

Every day we’re bombarded with information from people with an opinion, an agenda, or both. If we don’t take the time to seek out the real truth, then we deserve what we get. If that means our future is tied to casinos and breweries and we voted to have it that way, then so be it. However, it would seem logical that we would take the time to find out if that’s the best choice.

We know that gas drilling will bring well-paying jobs because that has happened everywhere that has allowed drilling for gas. We know that we could garner the same economic benefits that Pennsylvania has received — ad-valorem taxes that remain in the local jurisdiction to be spent on schools and infrastructure, and impact fees that are collected in advance to pay for any problems that could arise and can be spent by the community for other things once the threat has passed.

The purpose of this letter isn’t to advocate for fracking. We need to wait until the Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health have done their jobs. However, if they give the governor the green light, we will need elected officials able to perform their most important and legally mandated function — insuring the economic well-being of their jurisdiction.

MIKE ZAGATA is a former state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, Ruffed Grouse Society president and oil company executive.

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