Panel backs city plan to avoid buying Marcellus Shale gas

The Philadelphia Gas Commission is supporting a city councilman’s efforts to keep natural gas harvested from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale from coming into the city.

The report from Councilman Curtis Jones, endorsed by the commission, says the city should continue its practice of avoiding direct purchases of Marcellus Shale gas. Jones said the fuel isn’t the cheapest and it is not environmentally responsible.

“None of this stops Marcellus Shale drilling, but if you look at this attention being drawn to it along with us working with cities like Pittsburgh and cities like New York this may send a signal to the drilling industry,” said Jones.

Jones said he wants to use the pressure to get more drillers to disclose the chemicals they use in the drilling process. In some cases, chemicals have poisoned nearby water wells. He also wants the drillers to set up an early warning system to help prevent spilled chemicals from contaminating streams and rivers.

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