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

Plastic Piece on Earth

December 21, 2009


there is no place
quite like the other

each valley
each plain
each mountain
each plateau

with its own
land forms
life forms
and light

encased in a shared
halo of air

we are binding this earth in asphalt.

and branding
we block the night sky
with our signs.

we look
like fire



February 23, 2009

no amount
of insecticide
will help

with nature

December 29, 2008

the more i am
with nature –
the less of me
i must kill

Energy Exploration?????

October 25, 2008

Look up in the freaking sky!!!!!

big city bound

September 9, 2008


as we get closer
smells like someone is grilling
old radios

artist: greg jalbert

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:

“The world’s whole petroleum resource is estimated at a million terawatts, which happens to be equal to the amount of solar energy that reaches the earth every day.”  from The Independent Home by Michael Potts