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Drilling is not ungodly

| Thursday, May 29, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Re. the May 15 letter “Deer Lakes drilling ungodly”: I respectfully disagree with the author, Ron Slabe. The subsurface lease, which has been approved by Allegheny County Council, is one of the most comprehensive non-surface agreements in the state and is being looked at as a model for future development.

The area around Deer Lakes Park already has oil and gas development. For many years, there has been conventional production; more recently the area and its landowners have benefited from Marcellus development.

The author also takes a stab at hardworking union members, calling them “fat cats.” These so-called “fat cats” are local residents who support the lease and the jobs with which they support their families. A recent Associated Press story stated, “In 2008, (Laborers International Union) members worked about 400,000 hours on (natural gas jobs); by 2012, that had risen to 5.7 million hours.”

Mr. Slabe also invokes his Judeo-Christian upbringing and the Catholic catechism to oppose oil and gas development. I would argue — without getting too religious — these resources were put here for us to develop and through this development, we're bettering ourselves as a nation and civilization.

Pennsylvania has seen an amazing 259 percent increase in oil and gas jobs since 2007. New York City has the cleanest air in nearly 50 years because of the shift to natural gas, a transition fueled by the Marcellus shale.

Shale development is on track to strengthen us as a nation for decades to come and our “creator” is most certainly content with its continued development.

Joseph P. Massaro

Pittsburgh

The author is a spokesperson for Energy In Depth, a research and educational outreach arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

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