Want to know what chemicals are being used at a nearby Marcellus gas well that’s being drilled near you in Pennsylvania? Right now, it’s not so easy to find out. Here’s how Pennsylvania’s fracking chemical disclosure rules work, which went into effect in February of this year:
Quinnipiac University of Hamden, CT just completed a new statewide public opinion poll in New York which shows some interesting results about New Yorker’s attitudes toward drilling. Overall, more New Yorker’s favor drilling in the Marcellus Shale than oppose it. Hydraulic fracturing, the method used by drillers to free the gas, has been so misrepresented by those opposed to drilling that New Yorkers are still leery of it, even though most don’t even understand what it is and how it works. Overall 52 percent of New Yorkers believe fracking will damage the environment, but nearly half, 47 percent, believe the economic benefits are worth the risk.
The state of West Virginia is investing $250K in a company that turns ethane from Marcellus gas wells into ethylene. Think of it as a “mini-cracker plant”. Shell and other large energy companies are looking to establish large cracker plants in the Marcellus region—a chemical plant that will take over $1 billion to build (see this MDN story). In the meantime, smaller and leaner companies are providing some of the same kinds of service a cracker plant provides—at much less of an investment. Aither Chemicals is one of those companies.