Monday, May 9, 2011

Gas Drillers Destroy Archeological Sites In a Matter of Minutes

What's 9,000 years of history stacked up against a gas well?  Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette reports that an excavation at a Westmoreland County (PA) site occupied by Monongahala Indians produced abundant evidence of two villages and allowed researchers to piece together the violent end of the later settlement at the hand of invaders who sacked it, massacred its inhabitants and burnt houses and food stores, according to William Johnson, who served as an adviser to the project. Last year Mr. Johnson returned to the dig site.  He was stunned by what he found:
"There is a drill rig and catchment basin sitting on half the village," said Johnson, who received a doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh and served as senior prehistoric archeologist for Michael Baker Jr. Engineering, Inc. "You have something there-- which is better than you get with [excavations of] other villages-- that has been destroyed by drilling."
Pennsylvania's state laws offer little or no protection from archeological resources.
How often do we consider archeological sites as part of our valuable natural resources?
Mike Kotz, a Washington County vegetable grower with an interest in the artifacts he has found while farming his land is concerned about the destruction of land by gas drilling. He says
A bulldozer can destroy 9,000 years of history in 15 minutes.
One more sad example of how corporations can move in and do whatever they wish for all intents and purposes. Are we going to buy into the philosophy of former president George W. Bush when asked about his legacy? He said he isn't concerned about his legacy. By the time people figure that out, he said, "I'll be dead."   Will we show concern for our children and grandchildren by taking care of the environment in all its aspects, including areas where our history is entombed?

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