MDN to Attend Shale Gas Insight in Philly this Thu/Fri [Free]

MDN editor Jim Willis will attend Shale Gas Insight 2012 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 20 & 21. He’ll be hanging out at the NGI Shale Daily booth (#433). If you’re an MDN reader, please stop by to say hello in person! Jim would like to meet you.

It seems, however, that more than just luminaries like Jack Welch (former CEO of GE), Tom Corbett (Governor of PA), Ted Koppel (former Nightline host) and the CEOs of Range, XTO and MarkWest will be there. Anti-drillers will also converge on the Convention Center in a spectacle they call Shale Gas Outrage, featuring minor celebrities like Josh Fox (of Gasland infamy), Bill McKibben (, Sandra Steingraber (ecologist), and Doug Shields (former president of Pittsburgh City Council). Hey, it ought to be a real party!

Here’s what the Philadelphia Inquirer says about the upcoming event:

…the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the industry trade association, will occupy the Convention Center over the next three days to demonstrate that Pennsylvania’s shale-gas boom is having economic benefits beyond the rural areas where drilling is taking place.

The coalition’s Shale Gas Impact conference, which will attract Gov. Corbett as well as hundreds of protesters, will tout the effect natural gas has had on lowering utility rates, generating jobs, and improving air quality by displacing coal in power generation.

The industry advocates will also highlight the role that abundant supplies of natural gas play in fueling new industrial activity, including the revival of two imperiled refineries in South Philadelphia and Delaware County by lowering their operating costs.

“Shale gas is for real,” said Kathryn Z. Klaber, the coalition’s president, “and there really is something in it for Southeastern Pennsylvania.”

The 2,000 participants at the three-day conference will generate $5.5 million in economic activity for the region, according to the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

That is not counting the economic activity generated by protesters, who are organizing a rally for noon Thursday on Arch Street outside the Convention Center.

The protest, called Shale Gas Outrage, will paint a contrasting portrait of shale-gas development as an economic drain, a health-care nightmare, and a danger to water and air resources.

“It’s been really a disaster environmentally in Pennsylvania,” said Iris Marie Bloom, head of Protecting Our Waters, an anti-drilling advocacy group that has teamed up with environmental groups to organize its own two-day conference.*

Drop Jim a line if you plan to attend and want to meet up at the show: [email protected].

*Philadelphia Inquirer (Sep 19, 2012) – Shale-gas industry pros – and protesters – will converge in Phila.