Even as some cities around the nation have voted to ban fracking for natural gas, other rural areas are quietly embracing the boom by allowing drilling under public parks and land and reaping millions in royalties.
In Washington County, just outside Pittsburgh, officials say the unexpected revenue stream is letting them make improvements that otherwise might not have been possible. “Having that funding source has been a tremendous boom to us,” said Lisa Cessna, the executive director of the local planning commission. The county has received about $10 million directly from drilling companies since 2007, and royalty payments are still coming in. That’s helped build fishing piers, playgrounds and walking trails. Cessna said there have been complaints. Some of the drilling leases are for wells that start on adjacent private land and go under parks, but in other cases, the drilling sites have been on county land. That’s led to questions about whether any kind of industrial activity should be allowed on recreational land. “You can make it work. There’s going to be bumps in the road,” Cessna said. “You’re going to upset some people. But the end result is going to outweigh the negatives.”
Read more: http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/jan/13/for-some-counties-drilling-pays-big/?fracking