Monday, April 11, 2011

Former DEP secretary to discuss risks and benefits of gas drilling

By JIM MARTIN, Erie Times-News
John Hanger proudly counts himself as an environmentalist.
Hanger, who was secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection under then-Gov. Ed Rendell, said that means he believes in strong environmental laws and agencies to enforce those laws.
But he also believes in context.
And that, he said, seems sometimes to be missing in the increasingly vocal debate over gas drilling in Pennsylvania.
"Gas drilling is not the root of all evil or the pathway to all good," said Hanger, who will lecture on April 19 at 7 p.m. at Gannon's Zurn Science Center.
The context that is missing, he said in a recent interview, is that 80 percent of the nation's energy comes from a combination of coal, oil and natural gas.
And of those three, natural gas is the cleanest and has the most modest impact on the environment.

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