The Delaware River Basin is downstream from planned drillings for natural gas. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has instructed his economic development officer to fast-track permits for drilling. About 10,000 wells are expected to be green-lighted, creating jobs, producing clean fuel and lessening our dependence on foreign oil for several decades.
But there’s a dark side: The process of drilling, known as hydraulic fracturing — or "fracking" — has the potential to contaminate the Delaware, which provides drinking water for 15 million people, including 3 million in New Jersey. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the threat, but won’t be done until next year. Pennsylvania should not be allowed to proceed until we know it’s safe.