Multiple developments regarding energy sources have been in the news lately.
Old coal-burning power plants in the Ohio Valley are being shutdown on an accelerated schedule, partly due to environmental rules. Meanwhile, the first new nuclear power plants in nearly 35 years have been approved by federal regulators.
In Ohio and neighboring states, efforts to extract natural gas from shale have raised concerns about hydraulic fracturing, in particular how wastewater resulting from the process is handled.
These issues should be important to area residents, even if development of Marcellus or Utica shale natural gas fields does not bring wells to Seneca County.
One reason is a proposed 240-mile, 16-inch underground pipeline would originate in West Virginia and terminate in Fulton County. That pipeline is expected to pass through Seneca and Wyandot counties.
Another reason is, as environmental groups seek to supplant fossil fuels with cleaner alternatives, options such as natural-gas powered generating stations need to be developed.
Area residents who want to learn more about wells and the extraction process have their choice of a pair of programs, both planned for 7 p.m. Thursday.
Tiffin Area League of Women Voters is to present a free program on hydraulic fracturing in the Frost-Kalnow Room at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library. Also, a briefing on oil and gas leasing issues, sponsored by Hancock, Hardin, Seneca and Wyandot County farm bureaus, is to take place in the Master's Building at Wyandot County Fairgrounds. (For more information on both, visit http://bit.ly/ynTJpX).
Readers can look for stories about another option, wind turbines, in The A-T later this month.
Energy issues can seem distant, until they impact your environment - or utility bills. We urge consumers to endeavor to stay abreast of ongoing developments.