The Marcellus is the largest and fastest growing shale gas play in the U.S. and more than half of its 50 most productive wells were drilled in Susquehanna County in the northeast. Susquehanna and neighboring Bradford County produced 41 percent of all Marcellus gas this June.
While drilling is down in other shale gas plays across the US, with major oil companies selling off their stakes and CEO's expressing regret for buying in, the Marcellus has bucked some of the downward trends so far.
If you want to see the future of the shale industry — what today's drilling rush will leave behind — come to Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Just one year ago, New York’s Governor Cuomo hovered on the brink of issuing guidelines to frack New York State. But in March 2013, mounting public demand for a comprehensive health assessment prompted Commissioner of Public Health Nirav Shah to hit the pause button. Since then, there have been no fracking guidelines issued and no green light for fracking in New York, as Shah’s investigation continues. But that doesn’t mean fracking concerns are over. In fact, in New York (and New England) fracking and its infrastructures remain one step ahead of public notice in scary ways.
When J. Stephen Cleghorn realized that Paradise Gardens and Farm, his certified-organic farm in Pennsylvania that sits above the Marcellus Shale formation, was at risk of being “fracked” for shale gas extraction, he knew he had to act. But he did more than just act against fracking when he became the first private property owner in the United States to use a deed easement recognizing the Rights of Nature to ban all activities that would do systemic harm to the ecosystem both above and deep below the surface of his farm.
JUAN GONZALEZ: This week, a significant number of shareholders with Exxon Mobil and Chevron demanded more disclosure about environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing. The oil extraction process known as "fracking" injects millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth in order to break up shale rock and release natural gas. A proposal for more transparency about fracking received about 30 percent of shareholder votes at Exxon, while 41 percent at Chevron backed a similar resolution.
Let's take it as given that fracking is an increasingly controversial practice. So far most the attention has been on the current and potential effects on the water supply in areas where hydraulic fracturing is conducted, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions. Comparatively little focus has been placed on the potential effects on agriculture and our food supply.
Why Did the Responders to a Pennsylvania Gas Well Accident Take 13 Hours and Need to Be Called in From Texas?
When Chesapeake Energy lost control of a Marcellus Shale gas well in Pennsylvania on April 19, an emergency response team from Texas was called in to stop the leak. By the time the team arrived more than 13 hours later, brine water and hydraulic fracturing fluids from the well had spewed across nearby fields and into a creek.
Why Are We Letting Fossil-Fuel Billionaire Pickens Write Our Energy Policy and Push for More Dangerous Gas Drilling?
This weekend, as 10,000 energetic, bright young people converged on Washington, DC, for PowerShift 2011, 82-year-old Texas fossil-fuel-pushing megabillionaire T. Boone Pickens continued his all-out assault on these youths' future.
"They Are Afraid Their House Could Blow Up": Meet the Families Whose Lives Have Been Ruined by Gas Drilling [Photos By Award-Winning Photographer Nina Berman]
Editor's Note: Go here to see award-winning photographer Nina Berman's arresting images of the dirty business of gas drilling.
Oscar-Nominated 'Gasland' Director Calls Latest Attack on His Film 'Outlandish' and Tells Why the Industry Is Getting Desperate
Editor's Note: Read the letter Josh Fox wrote in response to the gas industry's attacks on his film.