at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference
Natural-gas drilling in the northeastern U.S. threatens water quality
|The exploitation of massive Marcellus Shale natural-gas deposits in the Appalachian region of the northeastern U.S. sounds like a dream. With energy concerns at the top of the nation’s agenda, this natural-gas reservoir, located just several hundred miles from East Coast urban centers, has drilling companies pouring into the region. In Pennsylvania, where development is the most advanced, landowners are eagerly signing mineral-rights leases. But environmental groups and some industry insiders warn that local communities and state regulators could be blindsided by the environmental consequences of the gas boom.|
David Burnett, technical director of the Global Petroleum Research Institute at Texas A&M University, says that residents in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, and other prime areas for drilling the shale, should be braced for high-speed changes. During the past 7 years, exploitation of the Barnett Shale, a similar geological formation in Texas, “has turned Fort Worth into a boom town like Silver City, Nev., in its heyday,” he says. Burnett’s research aims to minimize the environmental consequences of gas and oil drilling.
Buried more than a mile beneath the surface, the Marcellus Shale’s vast amounts of natural gas have long tantalized geologists. Now, thanks to soaring natural-gas prices and improved drilling technologies—mainly hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—an estimated 50 trillion cubic feet of gas could be recovered from the formation, according to Pennsylvania State University geoscientist Terry Engelder.
(Click to read entire article)
posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 1:06 PM - permanent link
Citizen Speak campaign mailing to your own contact list