For the same reasons that you don’t want a locomotive in your backyard you probably don’t want a pipeline compressor station. This article describes the problems with noise and pollution of the air. Sometimes citizens are asked to deal with the harm done because it is in the larger public interest to allow such things. But pipelines do not qualify for such sacrifice.
You can read more about the hazards mentioned elsewhere on this site. For now, let’s look at the bigger picture. Gas is cheap here at home because there already is too much of it. The energy industry wants to sell it to countries who don’t have it and will pay more. They particularly want to get Pennsylvania’s gas because our corrupted political scene has allowed them to secure low extraction taxes. They believe that they own the right to extract as much as they can. Their business model does not price in the significant damage they do. Every step in the extraction and transport degrades the environment and disrupts Pennsylvanians lives. It’s a public health issue, an environmental issue, and a property rights issue. We use the word “permit” because when we allow extraction we are permitting the energy industry to do something harmful that would not otherwise be allowed.
Unfortunately, the cost to all of us is not factored into the decision. Neither is the question of how the greater good is served. For the energy industry, these are externalities except when they have to pay lobbyists and lawyers to ramrod their way through the permitting process. We the people are supposed to suck it up and get out of the way. The lobbyists say it’s good for the economy, but the numbers don’t offset the near term damage, much less the contribution to global climate change.
The whole process is contrary to public interest. Cheap and abundant natural gas reduces the incentive to upgrade to renewables. Our wisest leaders and scientists warn us that we can’t wait, we must start the drawdown process now to restore historical levels of carbon in the air we breathe to less than 350 ppm. It’s already well over 400. We are already seeing extreme weather events and worse are predicted. Even such things as the pollen count are measurably increased.
The energy industry tries to discredit and cast doubt on the predictive science. It’s an existential issue and an economic bubble they fear will break. They have been borrowing against the untapped energy reserves underground as if all of it could be safely extracted and burned. It can’t. At least not at anywhere near the rates we have in the past or that the desire in the future.
As you and I and the public at large become more informed and motivated, the energy industry is engaging in a political campaign to defeat democracy. They know that when enough people vote against the politicians they support the party will be over.
It’s about the prospects for our grandchildren – stay engaged!