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Thread subject: Marcellus Shale gas play & runoff
Name Date Message
Melanie 09/27/11 02:52 pm It took a little longer to get this than I thought - my source has been spending much of his time out on the Bay.

Regarding the Marcellus Shale gas play, this is not an active concern - yet. Apparently there are a slew of wildcatters from TX who are already up in the hills in PA - a very economically depressed area - putting a lot of pressure on the folks up there (many of whom have owned small wells on their property for years) to sign leases with them for natural gas rights. Hereâs a few history factoids â the firs oil well in the US was drilled near Pittsburgh, right in the middle of that natural gas shield. Because oil could now be pumped out of the ground instead of skimming if off streams, kerosene was now cheap and readily available and that helped put the last nail in the coffin of the whaling industry. Up to that point whale oil was THE oil for lighting and lubrication.

Back to the gas shield. While there have been several tests done (fracking) to check feasibility, it will be several years down the road before they can begin extraction in earnest, so to answer Peter's question about the runoff and sedimentation, it was not a factor - this time.

Some of the huge concerns about this is that a 5 acre area will have to be clearcut around each well. Since these wells are normally up in hilly/mountainous areas and fracking requires pumping huge amounts of water under pressure loaded with "proprietary chemical formulations" for extracting, erosion, runoff and pollution will be a huge concern. The director of the PA office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is working with the PA legislature to craft regulations for doing all of this in a manner that will be the least harmful to the environment, but there is a lot of Big Oil money being spread around on the local level to get things opened up as quickly as possible without regard to much else.
Peter 09/27/11 03:19 pm Thanks Melanie.

A nightmare just waiting to happen.

"Many Rivers to Cross" on this one IMO.

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