The Marcellus Shale Environmental Summit was held this week at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Inside were some 120 people listening to speakers talk on the topic of using technology to treat drilling wastewater so that the wastewater doesn’t end up in Pennsylvania’s waterways. Most people would agree that’s a good thing.
Outside the hotel was a small group of 30 anti-drilling protestors. And as we saw a few weeks ago in Harrisburg (Anti-Drilling Protestors Get Nasty at Shale Coalition Building in Harrisburg, PA), these protestors were not content to peaceably and respectfully march and make their statement. They decided they were above the law:
Drillers who have been active in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia are now turning their sites on Eastern Ohio where a slice of the Marcellus Shale formation sits.
"The economies around us are benefiting from drilling. You see it in Pennsylvania, it’s real; you see it in West Virginia, it’s real. Now it’s here, and we have to grasp the opportunity," said state Sen. Wilson, D-Columbiana. "I think this is the biggest opportunity for job growth for eastern Ohio we have seen in a generation."
"This is really an enormous opportunity for us," said Wilson, who represents Belmont, Jefferson, Harrison and Columbiana counties. "I know we could be looking at a few thousand wells being drilled over the next several years – that creates a lot of work and economic activity.*
U.S. Senator Bob Casey (Democrat, Pennsylvania), keeps wanting to get the feds involved in gas drilling in his state, and he looks for any excuse to do so. The latest excuse involves two house explosions in Bradford Township, PA, one on Dec. 12, the other on Feb. 28. Casey claims both explosions are due to natural gas drilling in the area, even though the state police fire marshal is still investigating and has not yet come to that conclusion.
In a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Sen. Casey pins the blame on migrating methane gas from nearby wells.
Representatives from Poland visited the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University on Tuesday to learn more about drilling for shale gas. Poland recently discovered a shale layer in their country similar to the Marcellus Shale layer in the Eastern U.S., and they want to get help with tapping it.
Although the entire U.S. remains mired in slow growth, perhaps even a double-dip recession, there are places in the country that are seeing rapid job and economic growth. One of those places is the Bakken Oil fields of North Dakota. Another place is Pittsburgh. Why have those two areas seen such growth and economic prosperity? Hydraulic fracturing. In the case of North Dakota, it’s hydraulic fracturing of oil wells. In the Pittsburgh area, it’s hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale gas wells.
Below is an recent email sent by PittsburghTODAY speaking about Pittsburgh’s economic comeback: