Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Small PA Town on the Map for Natural Gas Reserves

Story first appeared in USA Today.

Williamsport, Pa., used to be celebrated for its past — as the 1938 birthplace of Little League Baseball, which still plays its annual World Series nearby. Then natural gas was found.

Now this once-sleepy chunk of north-central Pennsylvania is a star on the map of an emerging national energy rush. Six hotels are new or being built, and about 100 companies have moved to town, sometimes so fast that the head of the local Chamber of Commerce has told executives wanting guided tours to wait.

Much of Wall Street and Washington is seized by the hope that the U.S.'s energy future will be as bright as Williamsport's. As Americans heave a sigh of relief at gasoline prices falling back from near $4 a gallon, big new discoveries of domestic oil and natural gas hold the promise of more substantial benefits for the U.S. economy for decades to come — even the possibility of energy independence.

There are however, the environmental risks that come with the new natural gas boom.

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