Letters to the editor

Mar. 30, 2013 @ 07:26 PM

Benefits, yes, but not marriage

There is no HATE for gay people, it’s just that marriage, as stated in the Bible, is between one man and one woman. 

I do not, however, object for any kind of civil union between people of the same sex, nor do I object to there being equal protection under the law to receive insurance benefits as the spouse of the same sex or equal rights in the event of the death of a spouse or any of the other rights given to a spouse.

But they should not be able to have an official marriage ceremony.


Martha Ann Traylor

Durham, NC


Fracking reality not as scary as talking points

Lynn Kohn’s characterization of hydraulic fracturing painted a scary picture, but reality tells a different story.

Kohn says the jobs will be low-wage and given to out of state workers. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, more than 70 percent of all new hires in the Marcellus Shale industry are Pennsylvanians, and their salaries are roughly $25,000 higher than the statewide average.

Kohn worries about road repairs, but companies invest millions of dollars in local infrastructure to address that issue. In parts of Pennsylvania, natural gas companies actually invest more in local roads than the state government.

As for emissions, natural gas has helped the United States reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest level in 20 years. The EPA has also credited increased natural gas use with significantly reducing air pollution, including contaminants linked to smog and acid rain. In the Barnett Shale of north Texas – the birthplace of modern shale development – ozone levels decreased as shale development expanded, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The volume of water used during hydraulic fracturing may sound large, but in proper context it’s less frightening. Studies from across the country, including one from the U.S. Department of Energy, show that oil and gas production accounts for less than one percent of total water demand. In many areas, hydraulic fracturing uses less water than car washes and golf courses.

Finally, regarding Nationwide Insurance supposedly changing its policies in response to risks from hydraulic fracturing, here’s what a company spokesman said: “Nationwide has not changed its guidelines in regard to coverage of, or damage resulting from, oil and natural gas extraction activities, including hydrofracking.”

When it comes to hydraulic fracturing, the whole truth is less scary than talking points.


Steve Everley

National Spokesman, Energy In Depth

Washington, D.C