The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Star Power

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 25, 2011

The Altoona (PA) Mirror has an interview with former Columbus Zoo director/TV personality Jack Hanna in which Hanna gives two thumbs up for producing natural gas from shale. Yeah, that Jack Hanna - the tanned, khaki-clad zoo guy familiar to most for appearing on Letterman with amusing exotic animals.

According to the newspaper, Hanna is a proponent of getting natural gas from shale. The story noted that hydraulic fracturing is conducted next door to The Wilds conservation center where Hanna frequently appears, located on 10,000 acres of reclaimed mine land in southeastern Ohio. "I have no problem with Marcellus Shale," he told the Mirror. "We need the resource, and we can't be captives to our environment."

Hanna makes a couple of important points and helps illustrate another. The country needs a lot of energy to stay prosperous, support jobs and enrich lives. Abundant, clean-burning natural gas is a big part of meeting that energy need. At the same time we need responsible development that cares for the environment, as Hanna says, without being taken prisoner by it - roping off vast tracts of public lands and declaring offshore resources off limits.

The illustration: The fact that The Wilds and fracking operations are neighbors shows energy development and conservation can coexist.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.