I’m very afraid, health-wise, for the kids, just because of the exposure to the water and the constant not-knowing what we’re breathing in outside.”
Big players are rushing in. Exxon has invested $30 billion in the Marcellus in recent months. Foreign investors are also swooping in. India’s largest company, Reliance, has purchased a large stake. China, Korea, and Britain are investing in gas drilling in the Marcellus shale.
As gas companies rush in to make deals with landowners for the right to drill, the money on the table - signing fees and royalties - is substantial, and hard to argue with in a recession … hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases.
In Pennsylvania, 60 gas companies hold 4,504 permits to drill, almost half (1,195) granted this year alone.
What’s driving the drilling rush here, and across the country, are advances in hydraulic fracturing, or “hydro-fracking,” a process whereby millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are blasted deep underground - about 5,000 feet - forcing cracks in the shale and freeing natural gas for collection.
It is at the surface where problems have been reported, like blowouts and spills into ground water …
… And - as depicted in the HBO documentary “Gasland” - ignition at the kitchen sink.
A Burning Debate Over Natural Gas Drilling - Chemicals Energy Cos. Secretly Use Fuel Water Concerns
Legislation is being proposed in the Senate, sponsored by Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., called the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Ac
In 1969, the government detonated a subterranean nuclear bomb to break loose natural gas deposits from tight sandstone formations more than 8,000 feet below ground on a Colorado mountain. The bomb was twice as powerful as the one that destroyed Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.
The scheme worked — to an extent. The gas was unlocked by the blast but was deemed too radioactive for commercial use. Four decades later, energy companies are drilling near the nuclear site as they look to tap Colorado’s lucrative oil and gas reserves. Some local residents say they don’t trust the industry after what happened here and in the Gulf of Mexico during the oil spill. They’re fearful that accidents could pollute the air with radioactive gas if drilling gets much closer.
“I’m not 100 percent sure that the gas industry or the oil industry is careful enough, or has enough plans in place, that if something happens like the oil spill that I would be safe,” said Parachute Town Trustee Judith Hayward,
Legacy of nuke drilling site in Colorado lingers