The president of Drexel University told the natural gas industry its success in Pennsylvania would depend on its partnership with Philadelphia.
John Fry, whose school is planning the Drexel Energy and Environment Institute, made the pitch to the 1,500 gathered at Shale Insight 2013 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. But he cautioned the industry about its risks and responsibilities in extracting gas from shale formations beneath environmentally sensitive areas.
Mr. Fry called Philadelphia “the economic engine” of the state, a center for the refining and chemical industries with port and rail access.
“Your success depends upon your partnership with Philadelphia,” he said. “Philadelphia needs to be engage fully to share in the economic benefits — because we are assuming our share of the risk.”
The “risks” being the likelihoodthat drilling will end up causing water pollution in Philly’s drinking supply.
Shale Insight 2013 kicked off Wednesday with a call for Philadelphia to play a bigger role in Pennsylvania’s discussion and development of the commonwealth’s natural resources, as well as a panel highlighting the the challenges facing shale gas basins across the country.
Representative from Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania’s oil and gas trade associations were unanimous in their opinions that the individual states and not the federal government should create and establish regulations for the industry.
“No one size fits all. There are similarities but enough differences that the locals are aware of and it makes sense to keep at the state level,” said Kari Bjerke Cutting, vice president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
The discussion is part of the two-day conference in Philadelphia organized by the Marcellus Shale Coalition.