the marcellus play

October 28, 2010

this is:
oil vs solar
marketing vs truth
walmart vs main street
insanity vs sanity
landmen vs farmland
lawyers vs community
lobbyists vs democracy
secrecy vs transparency
power vs progress
the state vs you

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

This is the reason I am rarely here at qazse.

Thanks, Herb

the Bush Lecture Tour:

August 10, 2008


How Not to Lead

Mismanagement 101

Ignore Historical Wisdom

Facilitating Theocracy

Turn Challenge into Nightmare

Pubelic Specking

image source:


This is a round table discussion where I listen to the needs of others. They are called lobbyists. They are usually white men in good suits. My kind of people.


Here I am at a secret meeting. We are making energy policy.


May 25, 2008


until there are no soldiers
we have all died in vain

Our country was born of
contempt for privilege.

Yet we are now besmirched

for having those same
patriotic opinions.