The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan legislative agency serving as a resource and research arm for rural policy in the Pennsylvania Assembly and Senate. The Center has just released the results of a study conducted in 2010 and 2011 analyzing the impacts of Marcellus Shale gas drilling on rural drinking water supplies. This was an unbiased, large scale study of water quality in 233 private water wells in rural Pennsylvania before and after the drilling of nearby Marcellus Shale gas wells. The study results are embedded below.
The study found that dissolved methane exists in about 20 percent of private water wells—before drilling begins. In the executive summary, the study concludes:
Norse Energy’s big gamble that New York would allow shale gas drilling sooner than now has not paid off and they are throwing in the towel, attempting to find a buyer for their 130,000-acre leasehold in the state.
Carroll County, Ohio is in the midst of a shale gas whirlwind. Signing bonus offers are being made to landowners in the $3,000-$5,000 range. But that’s not all. For landowners who previously signed, several years ago, some companies are offering to purchase royalty rights from landowners, even for wells that are not drilled and may never be drilled. Here’s the story from one such landowner:
In August of this year, a number of anti-drilling groups in Pennsylvania banded together to form the Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission—to counterbalance Gov. Tom Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. Among the groups sponsoring the new commission are the Sierra Club, Penn Environment, Keystone Progress, Clean Water Action and Delaware Riverkeeper. The new Citizens Commission held five public hearings in September and has collected testimony from hundreds of Pennsylvanians and is due to release a final report today outlining “responsible drilling” measures it recommends should be adopted in PA.
Apparently the final report is not to the liking of the Delaware Riverkeeper (ie, it’s not anti-drilling enough), and so they have resigned from the commission in a snit. Delaware Riverkeeper is perhaps the most extreme of the anti-drilling groups, calling for a ban on all drilling in the state. Here’s the Delaware Riverkeeper press release announcing their departure:
A columnist in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette asks the question, “Should young people consider putting off college in order to work a job in the Marcellus Shale?” And the surprising answer is, “Maybe.” She recounts her random run-in with a young man in the Pittsburgh airport who was flying home to visit his parents, as he does regularly. His job? Laying pipeline in the Marcellus Shale. Her point was that in a time of economic uncertainty like we are in, putting off college for a while and working in the shale gas industry may be the right choice for some young people.