EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
March 19, 2012
The rosy picture from the natural gas industry: A nearly endless supply of energy, jobs, security, and economic growth. Diving in to the projections provided to us by drilling proponents requires a critical look at their underlying assumptions. Economists and other experts studying how much we have, how much its worth, how many jobs created, and how much economic growth generated use complicated algorithms to provide numbers for each of these values.
March 2, 2012
The stage is thus set for how Maryland will respond to the political winds of the shale gale. According to a new study sponsored by Maryland’s chapter of the American Petroleum Institute (API), Maryland could drill several hundred wells, mostly in Garrett County right next to West Virginia and Pennsylvania. At a recent API conference in Annapolis, experts estimated Maryland’s drilling capacity somewhere between 1600 and 2000 wells. While this seems like a relatively small number, two points bear impressing. First, almost all of those wells will be in just one or two counties. So, they’d still be sited pretty close together.
Second, and almost more importantly, is the opportunity for Maryland to shape the rules of the road for the fracking industry. In light of the President’s State of the Union embrace of natural gas, and Pennsylvania’s cart blanche acquiescence to the drilling industry wish list, Maryland must set a proper example for the entire Marcellus play. In fact, the Mason-Dixon line must become a firewall separating the right way to harness our energy resources from the example set by irresponsible oil and gas development elsewhere.