Credit: Catskill Mountainkeeper
The Marcellus Shale, a natural gas reserve which runs through parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, is currently experiencing a huge boom in exploration and extraction. New drilling technologies, like hydraulic fracturing have made this deposit, which once was too expensive to extract, economically accessible.
New York welcomes drillers
New York Governor David Patterson and the state legislature recently simplified the application process for natural gas development, so an increase in the number of applications for drilling permits is expected.
EARTHWORKS recently provided cautionary feedback in response to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation request for comments.
Fracturing's checkered history
The technique used to extract the gas in the Marcellus Shale is hydraulic fracturing. It uses toxics which have contaminated water supplies in New Mexico and Colorado. Despite this history, fracturing is unregulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
For more information:
- Shale Gas: focus on the Marcellus Shale
- Oil & Gas At Your Door? A Landowners Guide to Oil & Gas Development
- The hydraulic fracturing drilling technique
- Hydraulic Fracturing Facts
New York State's response
- New York state Department of Environmental Conservation's supplemental environmental impact statement on gas drilling
- EARTHWORKS comments in response to the NY DEC
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Feds' oversight begins on drilling in forest
- Wetzel County Action Group
- Pro Publica: Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies?
- Catskill Mountain Keeper
- Delaware River Keeper Network