Marcellus Drilling News – State of the Blog

Thanks to the many regular readers and email subscribers visiting this blog/news service, activity for the Marcellus Drilling News website has grown rapidly. As editor of MDN, I want to personally thank you for visiting and reading. In the last 30 days alone, we’ve had 5,000 visits to this blog. There is a real hunger for information about drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

In the coming weeks and months I plan to revise the look and feel of the website to make it easier to find the content you want to read. People read this blog for differing reasons, but it is written primarily for and about issues that landowners in the Marcellus Shale region are interested in. With 15-20 new posts each week, the information provided on MDN can be somewhat of a “fire hose.” Perhaps one of the best ways of keeping track is to subscribe to the daily email alert. Let me assure you, your email address and details are never sold, traded or disclosed in any fashion. And you have the power to unsubscribe at any time. Each daily email (only issued when there’s new posts added the previous day) contains the headline and the first few lines so you can see whether or not you want to click and read the entire article. Why not take a moment and subscribe now?

All news services, especially blogs, have a bias or point of view. Those who tell you they are completely impartial are not being truthful. Let me be clear about my own viewpoint: I am pro-drilling. I believe horizontal drilling/hydraulic fracturing is safe and should be done. The benefits are huge, and the time is right. We can and must move forward with drilling in the Marcellus (particularly in New York State where I live).

But I am also concerned, as a homeowner living in a semi-rural area (with 2/3 of an acre of land, not enough to lease), about truck traffic, damage to roads, noise, potential for accidents and spills, etc. I balance those concerns against the facts that drilling of this type has gone on for years and it has been safe. Contrary to doom and gloom predictions that the environment will be irreparably damaged and people’s drinking water will be contaminated, the facts are, drilling is safe and problems related to drilling are rare.

Unlike anti-drilling opponents, I don’t believe energy companies are out to grab money with no concern for the environment. On the other hand, the deal a landowner strikes with an energy company to allow drilling is, in some senses, “adversarial.” There are two parties to every contract. The landowner must be careful about the lease they sign, that the lease spells out in detail how the drilling company will perform and the consequences for violating those standards. Nothing wrong with that. Trust, but verify.

I believe landowners and energy companies can work together to accomplish something incredible here in the Marcellus Shale. I respect the other side of the drilling debate and, when warranted (and true), I include information about the negatives of drilling. We must not cover up or ignore the problems. Our attitude should be that of working together to find solutions to problems when they occur, and in the process, moving all of us forward. Although people on both sides of the drilling debate are passionate, and sometimes patience wears thin, we should all remain civil. The truth will win out, of that I’m confident.

Again, thanks for reading MDN, and feel free to drop me a line anytime. If you have any bits of news you think would be of interest to landowners, please send it. I can’t guarantee I’ll post it, but chances are good that I will! I’m also open to “guest posts” on the blog, so if you want to submit an article, feel free and I will consider it.

Kind regards,

Jim Willis
Marcellus Drilling News
[email protected]

  • Havthun2

    Thanks Jim! It is very refreshing to read the truth about drilling and I am so happy I found your web site. It makes it so much easier to post articles with all the right information on forums that people can read and understand. I do love that you use twitter. Thanks again for everything:) Doreen

  • Paul CometX NYC

    As a landowner in the Pennsylvania Marcellus, I appreciate the effort you put in. However, there appears to be too much bias in favor of drilling. I too favor drilling, but I want it done responsibly and I want state governments and the Fed to hammer violators hard. These people have to understand that Pennsylvania is not Texas; we won’t tolerate pollution of our water and air the way they do down there.

  • Jim

    Thanks for your kind words Doreen. Much appreciated. And thanks for posting things on the forums–it certainly has helped traffic!

  • Jim

    Hi Paul, thanks your comments. Perhaps I tend toward the spectrum of pro-drilling too much for some, but I find it necessary to make the case against an increasingly vocal minority who simply want all drilling banned. (Not trying to justify myself here, I do appreciate your comment as it helps me understand how other perceive my efforts–just offering my explanation for why it is what it is.)

    I am like you. I don’t mind some regulation to ensure this is done responsibly–no argument from me on that. I think it can be done at the state level–I’m not so crazy about the Feds “lending a hand.” The EPA is simply out of their jurisdiction–they want to regulate drilling through “the back door” by saying it impacts drinking and ground water. They need to be reminded of their charter–and it does not include regulation of drilling.

    As I said in this post, balance is the key. We can work together–landowners, energy companies and yes, government, to strike the right balance.

    Thanks for reading and I hope you continue to read and offer comments.


  • adg1984

    Just for the record I live in Texas and we don’t tolerate pollution of our natural resouces either.
    We have had no pollution due to drilling of any water sources etc.It’s not “Alice in Wonderland”
    just because you say something does not make it so.