FrackMountain.com

March 15, 2010

Much of Pennsylvania sits atop an ocean of “natural”  gas trapped within a humongous layer of shale.  It is called the Marcellus formation and lies more than a mile below the surface.  To extract such entombed “resources”, big oil will fracture and pulverize the  shale beneath us to free the gas.  This is not popping a bubble, this is boring and exploding tunnels beneath you.

I live in an area called the Back Mountain.  It is upland northwest of a large and populated valley.  The Back Mountain comprises  over 100 square miles and is home to approximately 27,000 humans.  It is a verdant and pastoral quilt of  relatively thriving communities and two small university campuses.  Everything that happens here drains to the Susquehanna River then into the Chesapeake Bay.

Recently, EnCana Corporation was given permission to drill three “exploratory” natural gas wells  here.

There are many disadvantages and dangers associated with this activity.  There is one advantage.  Money.  Gas companies are offering thousands of dollars per acre for landowners to lease their rights over to the drillers.  Then, if there are operating wells on your property you also get a royalty.  In these hard times, it seems a godsend to over taxed and forgotten farmers and  land owners.  I heard of one man who signed a lease because he needed a new roof on his house.  Most do so in ignorance of the real consequences and potential risks.

Here is a partial list of  our concerns: endocrine disruptors,  carcinogens, radioactive mud, hydrocarbons, massive truck traffic, lower property values, higher crime rates,  spills, violations, fish kills, pipelines, spoiled wells, ill neighbors, and on and on it seems to go.

In early February I became involved in a movement to stop (or at least contain) this usery.  We are organizing.   One initiative was to establish a web presence with links to information.  Therefore, I started the blog FrackMountain.com.

This is the reason I am rarely here at qazse.

Thanks, Herb

2 Responses to “FrackMountain.com”

  1. pauline Says:

    Education is always the best route but not always the accepted route. Your poem is an ode to Money and in our society, Money speaks louder than what’s “right” or “good.” Hoping your efforts pay off in ways not motivated by money alone.

  2. qazse Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement!


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