PLYMOUTH — Scott Cannon started digging up dirt on the natural gas industry when he noticed land scarring in Northeastern Pennsylvania that reminded him of when coal ruled the region.
A lot of other feelings came along with that, he said.
His family, many of them miners, felt the crush of Black Lung Disease and other maladies that accompanied coal mining, Cannon said. He said he thought Pennsylvanians would have learned from past mistakes.
A videographer and owner of Video Innovations, he is giving a presentation about gas drilling at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Plymouth Historical Society along Gaylord Avenue, Plymouth.
“You need to know both sides of the issue to make informed decisions,” Cannon said in a press release.
He plans to talk about the similarities between the coal and natural gas industries so Luzerne County residents can be vigilant to some of the potential hazards the gas industry might bring along with it.
“It’s not just the drilling. It’s the industrial side of things creeping into farm lands and to where people live,” Cannon said.
Much of his talk will focus on land scarring and groundwater pollution — problems he said that have been glazed over and misrepresented in the past.
While the first gas boom brought great economic promise, he said he is not sure the industry can sustain itself and he added that the collateral damage seems to be too great to risk it.
“I’ve seen things happen that show me that this is going to cost us so much more in the long run,” Cannon said. He further cast doubt on whether the falling prices of natural gas are even making all the problems worth the effort.
“It’s just going to be a temporary fix for our economy and, as we can see, it’s not doing that great of a job right now,” he said.
Luzerne County has no natural gas well sites or compressor stations. But Cannon said with many major pipeline systems crisscrossing the county, it seems drilling companies may try to make an entry soon.
At his presentation, Cannon, who is also a member of the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, is to begin by speaking and showing a short video. He then will open the floor for questions and answers for which he hopes to have some local experts on hand to share their knowledge.