Digging Deeper


Getting It Right for Eagles Mere Video   In January 2011, PEMA co-sponsored a symposium in Laporte on the environmental effects of gas drilling. There were many members of the media who covered the event—one of them was Cris Conkey from Shaleshock Media. Cris was very interested in Eagles Mere, its long history and how the gas industry will impact this historic town. He produced this independent video, Getting It Right for Eagles Mere—Julie Stauffer, George Jenkins & Colonel Donald Kane are interviewed, plus there are clips from the EM Toboggan Slide and the January symposium.

NOTE: PEMA did not suggest, sponsor, contribute, edit, or otherwise have any role in the development of this video. PEMA does not endorse its content or otherwise have an opinion about the statements made within the video. The credits at the end, which include a reference to PEMA as well as other organizations, were not approved by PEMA and are not intended to indicate any form of association between PEMA and the video producer. The individuals featured in the video are not PEMA Board members and do not speak for PEMA. This video is a completely independent film and, as it does include a variety of community and expert perspectives on the gas drilling issue, PEMA is making the community aware of the video as part of the educational aspect of our mission.


GAME CHANGER Why has Pennsylvania welcomed the gas industry’s presence with open arms when other states have a moratorium in place? Why have all the leading shale states except PA implemented a severance tax or environmental impact fee to help mitigate the cost of damages left in the wake of this industry?   What happened here in PA to change the game?

This radio program from NPR July 8, 2011 answers those questions with details and facts that may shock you, as host Ira Glass and producer Sarah Koenig explain how and why the gas industry and the state of PA speak in such a unified and well-scripted voice.

Devote some time to understanding how we got here and what we are facing. Listen to Game Changer now at: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/play_full.php?play=440&podcast=1


Web sites on natural gas drilling issues:

Bucknell University Marcellus Shale Initiative formed to support objective research, provide a primarily print-based publications database, and critically evaluate information related to the Marcellus Shale natural gas play.

The Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission was formed by Pennsylvania civic and environmental organizations to assess the impacts, both positive and negative, of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale and to identify the steps needed to ensure drilling occurs in a responsible manner.

The extensive New York Times series, Drilling Down, examines the risks of natural gas drilling and efforts to regulate a growing industry.

FracFocus is the hydraulic fracturing chemical registry Web site that is a joint project of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.  On this site you can search for information about the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. You will also find educational materials designed to help you put this information in perspective.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the citizens of Pennsylvania about state and federal environmental laws as well as to enabling citizens to use these laws to protect and improve the environment.  In February 2012 the PEDF developed a guide for citizens in how to protect Pennsylvanias state forests from the negative impacts of natural gas drilling.  Click here to view this useful document.

The PA League of Women Voters  has undertaken the project of researching and providing unbiased information on the Marcellus Shale industry and its impact on Pennsylvania.  Their League Study required members to look at all sides of the Marcellus Shale issue and think about the needs of Pennsylvanians, our visitors and communities in the months and years ahead.  The facts and issues will continue to change, and they will continue to update their Web site. On this site you will find a wealth of educational materials and information about Natural Gas Extraction from Marcellus Shale to help us all learn more about this critical issue affecting all Pennsylvanians.

PennFuture works to create a just future where nature, communities and the economy thrive. They enforce environmental laws and advocate for the transformation of public policy & opinion to restore and protect the environment and safeguard public health. PennFuture advances effective solutions for the problems of pollution, sprawl and global warming; mobilizes citizens; crafts compelling communications; and provides excellent legal services and policy analysis.

Penn State Cooperative Extension http://extension.psu.edu/naturalgas.   Penn State Co-op publications on various issues eg, leasing, economic, environmental, social .  Also, in April 2012, Penn State introduced a new online guide, the Marcellus Shale Electronic Field Guide that strives to help landowners, land managers, and gas companies understand terrestrial challenges facing shale gas development.

Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR)    Penn States education and research initiative on unconventional gas plays. They serve state agencies, elected and appointed officials, communities, landowners, industry, environmental groups and other stakeholders. Committed to expanding research capabilities on technical aspects of developing this resource and to providing science-based programming while protecting the Commonwealths water resources, forests and transportation infrastructure.

Phila Inquirer series Deep Drill Reports from PAs Gasland  The Philadelphia Inquirer has an extensive Web site devoted to coverage of all aspects of natural gas drilling economic, environmental, political.  Its 4-part Battle Lines series on gas pipelines and their regulation is a very useful overview of the issues and problems.     Inquirer reporters Joseph Tanfani and Craig R. McCoy found that thousands of miles of high-pressure pipelines carrying the gas to market are being installed with no government safety checks – no construction standards, no inspections, and no monitoring. In fact, state and federal regulators don’t even know where many lines are located.

Pipeline, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettes special section on natural gas drilling issues, offers extensive interviews, permitting maps, event calendars and many other information resources.

Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE)     PSE is dedicated to supplying vetted, evidence-based, scientific information and resources on unconventional gas development (high-volume hydrofracking) and other novel energy production methods. PSEs mission is to bring transparency to the important public policy issues surrounding such methods, helping to level the playing field for citizens, advocacy groups, media, policy-makers and politicians.

Center for Healthy Environment and Communities  (CHEC) was founded in 2004 at the University of Pittsburghs Graduate School of Public Health under a grant from the Heinz Endowments. Their mission is to improve environmental health in Western PA through community-based research.

Publications or videos of interest:

Sierra magazines special report (July/Aug 2012 issue)   Fractured Lives, Detritus of Pennsylvanias Shale Gas Boom, examines the impact on the gas drilling boom on the people who live in areas of production.

Nature magazine from Sept 2011 included an article featuring Dr Anthony Ingraffea and Dr Robert Howarth debating Dr Terry Engelder on the risks vs benefits of fracking for natural gas.

Leasing / Surface Rights Information Get The Answers Before You Lease (pdf)

Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) Network issued a statement expressing concern regarding the possible impact of the gas industry on childrens health. Referencing the special susceptibility of children, the PEHSU report stated, “Children are more vulnerable to environmental hazards. They eat, drink, and breathe more than adults on a pound for pound basis. Research has also shown that children are not able to metabolize some toxicants as well as adults due to immature detoxification processes.   Read more

Penn State Cooperative Extension – Considerations for Surface Use Agreements

Personal experiences If you’d like to hear directly from someone who has a gas lease, we encourage you to watch this interview with Mary McConnell of Clearfield County, PA. Mary talks candidly about the entire history of her experience with gas leasing, seismic testing, and drilling.

Phila City Council Testimony on Drilling http://blip.tv/play/AYKh7WAC

RDA Leasing Information A dedicated committee of Responsible Drilling Alliance (RDA) members has spent the past 7 months gathering information, meeting with attorneys, and working on the answer to that question. The results of their efforts are now available on the RDA web site. We encourage anyone who is weighing the costs and benefits of signing a gas lease to read RDA’s Landman Committee Report, posted on the RDA Web site.

US Department of Energy Shale Gas Production Subcommittee 90-Day Report August 11, 2011




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